Welcome to your August newsletter.  Firstly I would like to write a few words about Derrick Hewitson who sadly passed away in June . Derrick was very well known in Darlington for  his work with the Town Mission and also for playing the organ in the hospital Chapel. Derrick worked for DTM for over 30 years firstly as a Missioner then as a volunteer, he was a great ambassador for us and was totally committed to our cause.He served us with great dedication, enthusiasm and belief in what he was doing ,often people say no one is irreplaceable well Derrick is an exception to that rule , no one will ever be able to fill his shoes. I’m sure all those who knew Derrick will agree our lives were enriched by having known him he will be sadly missed .

Some of you may be aware that eVOLution who we leased our office from have now closed so you are probably wondering whether we still have an office there .The building is owned by Darlington Borough Council and they have take back responsibility, they have agreed to honour our License till October when they will review what they plan to do with the building. Healthwatch who are also tenants in the building have agreed to take responsibility of the day to day running i.e. manning the reception etc until October.In the meantime we are therefore looking out for other suitable premises in case the offices do close in October. If anyone hears of anywhere that might be suitable please let Sue Case know, all we require are the use of a desk one or two days a week,  storage of a filing cabinet , 2 wheelchairs a few books and bits and pieces 7 days a week, isn't too expensive and is in Darlington.

Taxis - For those who use taxis please be aware that when ordering a taxi can you mention if you are wanting to take a walker as there has been an instance where a taxi was ordered and when it arrived the driver refused to take the walker. 

Scam Awareness monthScammers use speed, surprise and secrecy to catch you out. Take time to talk about scams. Check unexpected calls, letters, and online contacts with someone you trust, get advice the Citizens advice consumer service 03454040506 can provide advice and pass details to Trading Standards, report scams or suspected scams to Action Fraud 03001232040 or www.actionfraud.police.uk, tell a friend , neighbour or relative about any scams you become aware of. It could be a scam if the phone call, letter etc has come out of the blue, you have never heard of the lottery/competition they are talking about or didn't buy a ticket , they are asking you to send money, they are telling you to respond quickly, they are telling you to keep it a secret. Common scams - calls from someone claiming to be from a Government department, miracle cures, council tax refunds, investment scams, deceptive prize draws, get rich quick plans





From Andrew Wigram, Chairperson of the Trustees

Darlington Town Mission exists to offer companionship in the isolation of old age.

I presume that none of us would want to argue with that statement of our mission.

Isolation comes in our final years, not by choice, but through force of circumstances.

It’s not the same as ‘solitude’ – being alone because we choose it: isolation is what we don’t choose.  It makes the period of life when we might expect things to be rewarding – bringing joy and contentment – to be a hard climb, possibly the hardest climb we have as yet met with.

Companionship is a more than welcome remedy.  Having others to come alongside, to enable opportunities to get out, meet others, make friends, attend appointments,….this is a gift that truly brightens a day: and it’s the gift that the Town Mission undertakes to offer.  

Forty years ago Catharine, my wife, and I were living in Kenya, among a rural tribal community nestling in hills.  At first hand we found ourselves participating in African living, not yet taken over by western influences. We witnessed family life in the hills. In every family all members had their roles to play. Children after school, even quite small children, we would see carrying loads on their heads back home – water from the spring, fire wood, and goods from the local shop.  Parents, especially the mothers, would often not go out to work; instead they would keep house, and (sometimes with a baby strapped to the back) they would work the small-holding to provide food for the family table, and would hope to provide enough income to send the children to school with the uniforms and books needed. Often fathers would be away from home, working in towns and only returning home once a month with their wages.  Then there were the grandparents:  there was always a place in the home for the senior generation. Living alone was not a concept understood: it could not express the mutual caring of family life that all members share in together.  So isolation was not an issue.  Companionship was the constant reality.

Our culture has developed very differently – we can’t turn the clock back; but we can (and must) be aware of where our system fails - fails especially those who can no longer provide for themselves and have no family living with them. The Town Mission aims to offer a substitute family role to those we care for, our Friends. But, sadly, our aim is being curtailed because the Mission relies essentially on volunteers – they are key to fulfilling the programme. Especially we lack drivers, using their own cars, to be ferries to and from social gatherings, and visitors to befriend Friends in their homes.

Is there any way you and I can help throw the net wider – to draw in more caring volunteers so as to increase the service we long to offer, and also to lighten the burden now carried by the shrinking numbers we have? I urge your co-operation here – your prayers and your persuasion – to  increase our volunteer family.  Thank you



From your Missioner

Well here we are in the midst of our summer and what are we talking about .....yes you guessed it the weather ,we have had a few lovely days during May and June but July has  been a very mixed bag , mainly a mixture of sun, cloud , rain and even a very spectacular storm which took place while we were at Polam Hall School for the sunshine party .The sun was shining when we got there and when we left but in between there was thunder, lightning and torrential rain. I was concerned that our Friends may 


have been anxious but they weren't it was actually the young students from Polam who screamed when the thunder started, it didn't stop us from having a lovely enjoyable afternoon. We were very fortunate in April when we went to Mainsgill , it was a lovely sunny day and we managed to get out to see the various animals. In June we went to Thornton Hall , it was glorious making the different colours  in the garden look even brighter and at one point we were even looking for shade. The Rotary Club and Inner Wheel gave us a wonderful afternoon tea in March and the ladies at Bondgate Methodist Church gave us a wonderful afternoon tea in May. I'm hoping the sun is also going to shine for our annual trip to Redcar on 12th August.We also have our outing to Lakeside at Scorton in September, Stockton Garden Centre in November and the Jack Frost Party ( date still to be advised ) to look forward to as well as our musical afternoon in October when we will be entertained by a ladies choir  and our annual Carol Service in December ( date and venue still to be advised). I hope those of our Friends who are able will join us even if it's just to enjoy the fellowship with the other Friends

We are only able to do all this thanks to our team of volunteers and we are very grateful to them for giving up their time.

Please remember to bring your Disabled Parking Blue badges when travelling with us in cars


Fundraising News

The fund raising committee is continuing to work very hard as can be seen from the results

below,but would still function much more effectively if they had more members on the committee , thank you to the volunteers who have been helping at the events.If any one would like to join the Fund raising team and/or help out at events please contact Anne or Brian Tyreman telephone 01325 710229

Funds raised since the last newsletter 

Sponsored Hymn Singing         £ 627.67

Tombola                                    £ 266.07

Coffee Morning                         £ 164.17

Elm Ridge Fete.                        £  68.00 

Carnival Games.                       £  67.10

Mary Drury Afternoon tea         £ 602.00

Elim Fete                                  £   70.00

Barbecue                                  £ 300.00

Fundraising total so far this year : £ 2491





Future Fundraising Events

Murder Mystery 

Street Collection

Flower Arranging Demonstration


Carol Singing

We are also trying to get our collection boxes in the local shops etc so if you know of any businesses that would be willing to have a box please contact either Anne or Brian on 01325 710229 or contact Sue Case


Darlington History Quiz - insert the year from the following dates:

1772, 1774, 1825, 1846, 1885, 1911, 1969, 1970, 1975, 1992

1  Darlington Town Hall is built    _ _  _ _

2 The first bank was opened    _ _ _ _ 

3 The Cornmill Shopping centre opens    _ _ _ _ 

4 The public library opens    _ _ _ _ 

5 The first newspaper was published    _ _ _ _ 

6 The Queen Street centre is built    _ _ _ _ 

7  The Stockton and Darlington Railway opens    _ _ _ _ 

8  The Railway Museum opens    _ _ _ _ 

9  The first cinema is built    _ _ _ _ 

10 The water company opens    _ _ _ _ 


  Answers below











 Answers to quiz

 1   1970

 2   1774

 3   1992

 4   1885

 5   1772

 6   1969

 7   1825

 8   1975

 9   1911

10  1846