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Town’s heritage trail starts to go a little cold
6:18pm Wednesday 12th October 2011 in Spectator's Notes
HERITAGE ain’t what it used to be, if Darlington’s Heritage Trail is anything to go by.
Installed six months ago, the trail of the town centre’s places and buildings of historical interest is marked by a series of six-inch circular discs, made of brass or alloy, set into the pavement.
Funded by central government at no cost to the local council taxpayer, they seemed like a good way of highlighting the history of the town, something which it has not always been very good at.
The trail is anything but stuffy.
As well as the conventional historical spots, the trail includes some relatively recent town history, such as marking the spot where the La Bamba nightclub was in Grange Road and where such Sixties musical luminaries such as Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck and Jimi Hendrix once appeared.
The snag is that those discs are not lasting.
Spectator has spotted at least two that have gone missing, including one outside our Priestgate offices.
Of the others, many are set in paving slabs which have cracked, presumably when the discs were “planted”.
The frost of winter will soon get to work on those.
The trail could be difficult to follow by the time it reaches its first anniversary.
DAVID Butterworth, chief executive of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, told Spectator he was bemused by the nature of debate before last week’s decision about the park extending further into Cumbria and for the first time into Lancashire.
His point was that it was the park authority area that was changing, not Yorkshire, or Lancashire or the Yorkshire Dales.
He said it was worth noting that some of the Yorkshire Dales, like Nidderdale, aren’t even within the existing park authority boundary.
He joked that he had high hopes of getting arguably the most famous Dale of all – Emmerdale – included in the future.
Finally, he made the point that the debate was politicised by certain people for their own ends, when it was just about increasing the protection of the nation’s finest countryside.
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