The inaugural meeting of the Darlington Historical Society was held in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall on 16th February 1961 under the Chairmanship of the mayor, Councillor Watson Cottam, who later became the first President.
It was his opinion that there was a need for a Society of this kind to preserve records and information about buildings which were being knocked down for road widening and other “improvements”.
The aim of the society was “the collection, preservation and publication of information relating to the general history of Darlington and district”
During the first 20 years serveral members specialised in different fields of interest.
The Society prepared three exhibitions:
to celebrate 50 years as a County Borough in 1965
to celebrate 100 years as a Borough in 1967 and
to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977.
This last exhibition was visited by over 1,000 members of the public.