We’ve been overwhelmed with the number of visitors flocking to us to celebrate our 60th anniversary with our SIXTY exhibition.
Witnessing our transformation from one of the largest manufacturers of wool in the world – more than 500 people arrived on the first day alone – visitors have now been able to appreciate the regeneration of this colossus into high spec office space now available in Darlington.
Based in the Beehive – the latest space available in Darlington – we’ve been surprised at how the exhibition continues to grow, with former workers bringing in their own memorabilia, photographs and stories to complete the picture of life at Lingfield Point in the 1950s and 60s.
Lingfield Point’s exhibition was curated by Andrea Freeman, director of heritage knitwear company The Beehive Brand and is being held in conjunction with local history experts from the Centre for Local Studies – part of Darlington Libraries.
The opening of the exhibition saw tears and laughter as people bumped into former work colleagues they hadn’t seen for 50 years and swapped tales of the good old days in familiar surroundings.
One visitor 71-year-old Kathleen Thompson, brought along her great-grandson Henry Thompson, aged three, to see where it all began.
“I worked at Patons from 1958, starting when I was 15 until I had my second child at 21. I made ‘tops’ which was part of the process – it was a sort of cotton wool that the yarn was made from.
“I earned two pounds ten shillings a week and used to travel on the bus every day.
“My best memory of working there is that one day my trainer called me over and said I should go to the doctor as I was pregnant. She was right, I was six months – and that’s how I found out,” said Kathleen, of Brompton on Swale.
Lingfield Point has been a family affair for the Grindley family. George Grindley, 86, and his son, John, 59, both worked at the site almost all their lives. George as a maintenance engineer and John firstly in maintenance and then security.
It was the third generation of the family’s involvement as George followed in his father Jack’s footsteps, who worked on the original construction of the building as clerk of works.
Our estate manager Eddie Humphries, commented: “Lingfield Point has been rejuvenated in sympathy with the heritage of the site and we felt it was important to capture first hand memories from former workers before they were lost for ever.”
*The 60 exhibition runs until August 8 and is open to the public on weekdays from 11am to 2pm.
For more information on office space now available at Lingfield Point, contact us on 01325 486486