The Willowbridge Service Station has recently been sold and is probably due for demolition, the land has planning permission to build two large houses. The garage was built in the 1930’s to service travellers on the Great North Road. It was built in the Art Deco style and was originally flat-roofed.
The route of the Great North Road/A1 used to run through Darlington town centre via Barton and Stapleton. In the mid 60’s the A1 was rerouted to bypass Darlington resulting in the section of road from Scotch Corner to Darlington being downgraded to a rural road.
The tragedy of this has little to do with new technology as such, or so-called post-industrialism. It stems, it bleeds, not from the fact that science has discovered electronics, but from the fact that everything which constituted the loves of those living here is now being treated as irrelevant.
John Berger. Understanding a Photograph. Penguin Classics 2013.