WE are indebted to Doreen and Geoff Spence of Darlington for lending us a splendid box of old paraphernalia collected by the Maddison family of quarry-owners. Ord & Maddison worked the limestone and whinstone quarries of Weardale and Teesdale from mid-Victorian times until the business was sold to Tarmac in 1962.

Doreen's aunt was Elsie, a divorcee working behind a counter in Binns, who caught the eye of Lionel Maddison, the grandson of the founder of the business. They married on Christmas Eve 1931, and were a devoted couple – they died within months of each other in 1991 after 60 years of marriage.

One of their projects had been the restoration of the old Pease mansion of Pierremont, in Darlington, which they bought in 1945 when soldiers were still billeted in it.

There are some grand pictures of old Darlington mansions in the box, but we shall start with a photographic tour of Teesdale taken from an old Maddison album.

A couple of pictures towards the back of the album are dated 1887, and we reckon that nearly all of them come from that decade. For example, today's front cover shows one of the most atmospheric corners of our area: the old chapel in the grounds of Eggleston Hall.

It has been there since at least 1539, but after the new church of Holy Trinity was built in the village in 1869, the chapel slipped into decay and its roof was removed in the late 19th Century.

In our photograph, the roof is very much still intact – perhaps it was guarded by the two men in the top hats who are loitering among the gravestones.

Nowadays, the chapel is in the grounds of the Eggleston Hall garden centre, and well worth a visit – particularly as there is a tasty tearoom nearby.

If you have any information about Ord & Maddison or any of today's pictures, please email chris.lloyd@nne.co.uk