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Just one step from Utopia

www.thenorthernecho.co.uk

IN 1892, a new road was developed to connect Darlington’s new hospital at Greenbank with Northgate, one of its principal thoroughfares. Members of…

IN 1892, a new road was developed to connect Darlington’s new hospital at Greenbank with Northgate, one of its principal thoroughfares. Members of the council discussed planting any trees along it, but because all trees did was drop their leaves, they decided to leave it bare.

The new road was called Corporation Road and although there were no trees, soon large buildings were sprouting along it: a school, which kept on growing, and two chapels, one of which reached for the sky.

As The Northern Echo reported on Thursday, a time capsule transporting us back to those early days has been rediscovered in the school wall.

The first wing of Corporation Road School was opened on March 30, 1896, by Miss Fry, one of the daughters of the town’s MP, who said: “There is still some distance to go before we reach Utopia, but I hope the schools will be one small step on the way.”

The first wing was built on two acres of land, which had cost £2,610 while the construction cost £3,490. It could take 300 juniors and 148 infants.

But with terraces for railwaymen spreading across the green fields at the northern edge of town, a £3,356 extension to take a further…

Chris Lloyd

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