Darlington Street

Darlington Street has always been a busy shopping area. It was constructed on land belonging to Lord Darlington who sold it to the Town Commissioners for £350 per acre.  It opened in 1821. Although the upper half has changed little since the early 1970's, the building of the ring road and car park has greatly the changed the lower half.
DARLINGTONST2.jpg (34252 bytes) The north side of the street in the early 1970's. Little has changed other than shop signs.
Things are still unchanged as we carry on down the hill. The Abbey National Building Society is very prominent.

On the right is Roden's music store which is the town's main sheet music dealer.

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This view of Waterloo Road junction could almost have been taken yesterday.
At this time the ring road was still under construction, and the car park was yet to be built.

Although the buildings have hardly changed, the older ones do look quite run-down compared with their modern appearance.

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DARLINGTONST7.jpg (36161 bytes) Similarly little has changed since this mid 1970's view of the south side of the street. On the corner of School Street was The Sleep Shop, and next door was the Pertemps Agency.

Next was Rosebys, and then Michael Gowns who was a ladies outfitter.

Darlington Street Methodist Church opened on 29th October 1901. It is capable of  seating 1200 people, and is a replacement for an older church and school built in 1825.

The original school building still exists in School Street and was a school for boys, girls, and infants. The school closed in about 1910.

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DARLINGTONST12.jpg (30212 bytes) This part of the south side is now almost unrecognisable, all that remains is the church.

The other buildings have made way for the car park

The old Darlington Street Post Office has now moved to new premises on the other side of the street.
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DARLINGTONST11.jpg (27354 bytes) Today its hard to appreciate just how many shops fitted into the space now occupied by the car park.

In the centre was the Den of Antiquity which sold furniture and antiques.

The shop to its right housed the Stafford & County Building Society, and Lampshades sold lights and light fittings.

Today this scene looks a little odd as the foreground remains unchanged, whereas all of the shops in the background are gone.

The premises with the wall clock in the centre was occupied by opticians A.G. Moore Ltd.

Also prominent is the Hei Fung Chinese Restaurant and A.J. Chamberlain's cycle shop.

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A little later the same buildings look forlorn as they await demolition.
The view behind the Darlington Street shops as they are slowly demolished.

The new car park which replaced them was really an extension of the existing Fold Street car park from where this photograph was taken.

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