Marchday - Welcome to Marchday - National BCO Award Winners!

Hello, we're Marchday, a refreshingly different property company.

We're a team who dare to dream, who work in our own developments, who love design, architecture and art as much as we love doing deals and providing exceptional customer service. That may sound a little eccentric but that’s alright – we aim to be different, do things better and be more involved than most other property companies.

We take the time and trouble to be a little more thoughtful, interested and available to our customers and partners. We get a lot back by putting more in. Our schemes are successful and our customers are happy and that creates a landscape that’s a joy to work in.

Our developments tend to be large in scale and our vision for what’s possible, in regenerative terms, is equally bold. We keep on trying to do things better, greener and happier. It feels good and does good too. We hope you enjoy our site.

General - Calling all Volunteers……..the Festival of Thrift needs you!


THE award-winning national Festival of Thrift is calling out for thrift and event-loving volunteers to help make this late summer’s festival a roaring success.

The two-day thrift extravaganza, being held once again at Darlington’s Lingfield Point on September 27 and 28, made a huge debut in 2013 where it attracted 27,000 visitors.

And the organisers are now on the hunt for people within the region to volunteer across the festival weekend.

Darlington Cares – a partnership of the town’s employers whose skills, expertise and volunteering are matched to community-based projects – has joined with the Festival of Thrift to recruit and coordinate volunteers.

Whether you’re a budding Festival Director hungry for work experience on one of the most innovative and upcoming UK festivals, or you’re a local thrifter keen to be part of the magic, there’s an array of opportunities on offer across the weekend.

Festival Director Stella Hall said: “Last year our volunteers did a tremendous job – as our most important ambassadors they really pulled together and were a key factor in making the weekend such an enjoyable experience for everyone who came.

“This time round there are many more ways for people to get involved and really make an impact while helping us create a truly exceptional and memorable festival. There is a volunteering opportunity for everyone and we urge anyone with a love for what we’re doing here to get involved.”

This year there are more chances than before to be part of the festival with five different types of role on offer.

Steward roles offer the chance to support events, meet and greet the public and help festival folk with any queries.

There’s the opportunity to help dress the festival venues and put up signage across the extensive sight in the Dressing role.

For a more hands-on volunteer, the Technical and General Assistance role offers the chance to help move furniture and equipment around the site along with rigging and de-rigging before and after the festival.

Those with a love for visual arts or performance would be best suited to the Artist Liason role where they will be helping the festival’s innovative artists

There’s also the opportunity to be an Assistant helping out with craft and skill based workshops across the two days.

Volunteers can join in on various days from Thursday 25 September until Monday 29 September and sessions are split into three sections allowing volunteers flexibility and the chance to help out at numerous points across the weekend.

Katie Blundell, programme manager at Darlington Cares, says: “We are delighted to be working with the Festival of Thrift.  Last year’s event was a phenomenal success and really put Darlington on the map.  Event volunteers played a really important role and we have fantastic opportunities for people to get involved this year.  Whether you would like to help out for the full weekend and gain some valuable event management experience or assist with a workshop one morning, we would love to hear from you.”

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Katie Blundell, Darlington Cares programme manager on 07917 473992, email or visit  Please note volunteers must be at least 16 years old.

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General - Have you booked your favourite Workshop at this years Festival of Thrift?


This years Festival of Thrift is quickly approaching, so make sure you clear your diary for the 27th & 28th September as it is shaping up to be an amazing event promising to be bigger and better than last year!!


John Orchard with Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway at the Festival of Thrift.

John Orchard with Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway at the Festival of Thrift.


There are plenty of workshops to get involved in, whether you are a foodie or a crafter, take a look at the Festival website ( for more details and how to book your place.  There’s certainly something for everyone….but don’t wait to long as they are proving very popular and selling out quickly!

Charity Shop DJ

Charity Shop DJ

If a workshop isn’t for you we have plenty more to offer with over 100 stalls for you to stroll around offering a multitude of crafts, food and other exciting and interesting things.  If that wasn’t enough we can offer an abundance of art programmes ranging from Carboot Disco Bingo to the Charity Shop DJ to art made out of every day rubbish by Francisco de Pajaro and many, many more.


Francisco De Pajaro

As well as all that, and back by popular demand is the Bistro du Van where you can experience home cooked dishes from your chosen camper van, which includes our very own Festival camper that was a popular choice last year.



Bistro Du Van

So pop in and see for yourselves this fun filled free family festival at Lingfield Point, Darlington…..for full details visit



Jean & Morag – The Tea Ladies

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General - Help Our Kelp!

Friend of Lingfield Point and Darlington Borough Council Chief Exec Ada Burns is backing a scheme taken on by her sister and nephew to produce a super food in the form of kelp.  Their business ‘Islander’ grows Kelp that they turn into noodles, pesto, wraps and salad.  Did you know that Kelp produces more calcium, iron and roughage than any other vegetable…it truly is a super food!  In addition founder Kate Burns will be bringing much needed employment to the tiny island of Rathlin off the County Antrim coast.

Watch this spectacular film to get a better idea of what they are doing.  You can also make donations to help get this fantastic venture off the ground on ‘Kickstarter’ and receive a pot of ‘Islander’ Kelp noodles.


 Web-site –

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General - Festival of Thrift – Are we Mad?

Marchday pride themselves on being different from the majority of commercial property companies in the UK. They love to do things differently and better.


Never was this unique approach more clearly illustrated than when Marchday staged the world’s first Festival of Thrift last summer at their regeneration site Lingfield Point in Darlington. With the date for this year’s Festival of Thrift fast approaching  (27/28 September, put it in your diary now) we caught up with Marchday Director and Festival of Thrift  Co-Founder John Orchard to ask him about the thinking behind the event and how he became involved in the first place;

So John, starting at the beginning tell us about why Marchday ended up hosting the Festival of Thrift.

“People ask me all the time why we did it. Some see it as frivolous and irrelevant to the world of commercial property. They think we’re mad! We see it as a valuable showcase for everything we’re doing at Lingfield Point ….and it’s a great opportunity to have some fun. We met designers Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway some time ago and they loved the fact that we’d ‘up-cycled’ the original 1950′s wool factory buildings into award winning office space. We took time to weave the heritage of the site (a heritage that is fondly regarded locally) into each building we recreated. Wayne runs The Vintage Festival which is hugely successful and between us we came up with the concept of the Festival of Thrift which chimes with the mood of the time and feels very much at home at Lingfield Point, a great example of up cycling on a grand scale.

We originally thought it would appeal to a niche audience of ‘thrifters’ (makers, re-makers, up-cyclers, growers etc) but when over 27,000 visitors turned up we realised just how strong the desire to live differently is. These people had come because it was a ‘cool’ event but also because they wanted to learn how to make this, reinvent things and grow things. The night before the event we had a hiccup with the online booking system and all the workshops and seminars ended up being booked out twice – and still some people didn’t get in! The demand was huge.”

And what did people think about coming to an ex industrial site for the festival?

“Well, lots of local people have a notion of Lingfield Point. As the Patons & Baldwins wool factory it was Darlington’s biggest employer in the 1950′s. As a result most local people’s lives have been touched by it in some way; their Grandma worked here, or their Mum or Dad. And now of course a whole new generation are working here for companies like Student Loans and AMEC. Despite this ‘notion’ people were amazed by what’s going on at Lingfield Point these days and were knocked out by all the on site activities and amenities.”

Like what?

“Again, it’s not the sort of stuff that most commercial property companies get into but we have a lot of what I call Art around the site. Some of it, like Futurescope (a series of 8 enormous circular images by artists Vista Projects and commissioned by Marchday between 2011 and 2013) is visible from the surrounding roads but there’s a lot of stuff ‘hidden’ around the site. It makes people smile and we like that. 5 years ago we installed beehives and have produced our own honey every year since, we have allotments, cafes, a knitting circle, book club and cycling group. We recently replaced our bikes (free for all to use) with beautiful Dutch bikes with baskets to encourage more people to use them, all this stuff adds up to a very different work environment.”

But where’s the value in that stuff? Does it really make money for you? It must take a huge amount of time and effort.

“Yes it does. What you have to realise is that you don’t succeed in a town like Darlington without making a huge amount of effort and doing things better. If you don’t you may as well go home. All our customers (Orchard calls tenants ‘customers’ without a hint of irony) expect a great deal and a great building; we have to give them both, but then it’s, ‘what else’. I don’t know of another commercial scheme that goes so far to help people enjoy their work experience.”

Do your customers tell you what they think of what you’re doing?

“They do because we ask them on a regular basis. All our amenities have been created as a result of direct customer feedback. We ask them what they want and do our very best to give it to them and keep giving it to them. We realise how hard we work to attract a new customer and once here we want them to stay and grow. Luckily that has happened in a number of cases. Our customers appreciate the stuff we do and we know it helps with their staff retention and helps make their staff happier more productive.

So tell us about this year’s festival.

“It’s incredibly exciting – it’s going to be even bigger and better than last year. There’s a fantastic arts programme, delivered by our excellent director Stella Hall, with a the return of the ‘Alternative Village Fete, international arts including a giant inflatable pig which also acts as a small theatre, a Scrap Yard Orchestra made up of professional musicians, community groups and local school children, The Jamalot jam-making factory, Shed Town, a Fix it Café, a new main stage with a music programme including Ida Barr the rapping granny, Bistro Du Van is back, vintage and sustainable fashion, workshops, talks – and loads more. Basically it’s going to be a huge amount of fun and put a smile on a lot of people’s faces!

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General - Have you seen the new Festival of Thrift Web-site?


Festival of Thrift – 27 & 28 September

Festival of Thrift – 27 & 28 September 2014

Have you seen the new and improved Festival of Thrift web-site?  Why not take a look at all the fabulous things that are planned for this years spectacular event.

The line up includes some of last years favourites…….like the very popular Bistro du Van where you can have a dinning experience in one of our camper vans, the Charity Shop DJ - go and choose your cheese!  Back by popular demand are the hilarious Jean & Morag the Tea Ladies.  And as you’d expect the festival is introducing some amazing new acts, including an inflatable pig…I think this is one to experience first hand!  Car boot disco bingo which will be fun for all the family and a fix it café advising and assisting on how best to fix house hold items rather then replace them with new…..and many, many more!

For those crafters among you there’s plenty to keep you interested……the Craftimation Factory where adults and children alike are encouraged to make puppets and bring them to life through animation.  We also have Thrift Jack Press where visitors will be invited to make their own printing blocks using scrap materials.  Jamallot will encourage visitors to bring excess fruit and veg to the festival where it will be turned into delicious jams, pickles and chutneys over the course of each day.

So with many more activities to get involved in take a look at the web-site for full listings of the weekends exciting events.

We hope to see you there!

John Orchard with Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway at the Festival of Thrift.

John Orchard with Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway at the Festival of Thrift 2013.

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