THE photo-archive of The Northern Echo is packed with gems.

For example, we've never before had cause to look in the packet marked "Darlington – roads: Inner Ring Road."

It just sounds too tedious to bother with, but it contains an amazing selection of views charting the town's dramatic transformation in the 1960s and 1970s as the first four stages of the inner ring road formed a noose around the town centre.

Stage V, the final stage, of course, was never built and so the noose is not quite complete.

Therefore students from the sixth form college on the west side are able to wander into town on their lunchtimes without having to cross a four lane highway, unlike theatregoers on the east side who have to fight their way across streams and streams of traffic to reach the Hippodrome.

Any thoughts on any of these lost buildings are welcome as, of course, are the makes of the cars. Please email