Heugh Battery Remembers those bombed out of their homes & workplace

 

Hartlepool Sixth Form College

Hartlepool Sixth Form College

Every year The Heugh Battery Museum on The Headland in Hartlepool, remembers the events of 16th December 1914 when the Hartlepools were shelled by German ships from the North Sea.

This year the community came  together for the 101st time to remember those who lost their lives in the barrage of shells; the children who were injured or died as they were getting ready for school, shift workers making their way home after work and fishermen petrified and frozen with fear out at sea, stranded in ‘no mans land’ as shells flew over their heads.

This years commemoration at the Heugh included  a series of plays by  students from Hartlepool Sixth Form College with an evocative performance in the Heugh Battery itself.  Students presented an emotive response to the legacy of the bombardment, loss, fear and separation.  As Britain contributes yet more bombs to its 4th war in 14 years, its the next generation who are growing up knowing only aggression as a response to  international disagreement.  The students production displayed sensitivity, maturity and hope for the future.

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Hartlepool Remembered were there talking to visitors about how they can contribute their memories to the Centenary Memorial Scrap Book.  If you would like to get involved contact theresa_easton@yahoo.co.uk

Speakers and performers at the Heugh all contributed to a commemorative day, with visitors braving the Headland wind to listen to heritage research carried out in the near by village of Hart, rebellious Colliery men recreated to dig tunnels at the front and musical performance by the talented Fools Gold.

Launching the same day, a new permanent dedicated gallery at the Museum of Hartlepool at Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience to the bombardment of the Hartlepools.

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Hartlepool Bombardment Centenary Scrapbook

Hartlepool Bombardment Centenary Memorial Scrapbook
As the lead artist of Hartlepool Remembered, I am inviting residents and community groups in Hartlepool to take part in community art sessions to document bombardment memories. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the project is now creating a Hartlepool Bombardment Centenary Memorial Scrapbook that will capture experiences and records of the 2014 centenary, inspired by the town’s original Bombardment Memorial Scrapbook, put together a hundred years ago in the weeks following the 1914 bombardment. The Centenary Scrapbook and digitised copies will be deposited in civic archives (including Durham at War) for posterity and we are keen to include as many Hartlepool people, families, groups and organisations as possible.

  •  The sessions will be an opportunity to capture a snapshot of where you were during the 2014 Bombardment Centenary events, which will then be added to this new memorial for the town and its people.
  • The sessions will take place in Hartlepool from November 2015 to July 2016, at a date and time by arrangement. A session for your group will provide the opportunity to document your response to the Bombardment Centenary events using a range of creative skills, including drawing, printing, writing and collaging. We will use selected  WW1 heritage material and you are welcome also to bring your own materials, including any family WWI or Centenary mementoes which can be photographed and included.
  • If you would like to book one of the sessions or would like any further information, please contact theresa_easton@yahoo.co.uk or 07981 381830.

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Young People at Throston Youth Centre are the first to use Remembering Our War resource boxes.

Designed by Hartlepool Cultural Services, A Soldiers Life and The Home Front resource boxes provide a wealth of objects connected to the First World War inspiring curiosity and discussion for young people at Throston Youth Centre.

Resources from a Soliders Life and the Home Front boxes

Resources from a Soliders Life and the Home Front boxes

The group are the first to access the boxes and have been taking part in a Mail Art Project using Trench Art and local WWl heritage research, such as visiting the Heugh Gun Battery at the Headland and Beamish Museum.

Behind the scenes at Beamish

Behind the scenes at Beamish

Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery fund and with hands on support from Youth Support Services, the group of young people met a local Trench Art collector, Judy Sunter during their visit to Beamish.

Judy Sunter Trench Art Collection

Judy Sunter Trench Art Collection

Judy, also a ‘Friend of Beamish’ provided a wealth of information about each object, recounting the international stories connected with the making of each piece. Michelle Ball, from the Learning and Community Participation Team at Beamish provided a behind the scenes tour of the stores, detailing how the objects are collected, recorded and stored. Michelle was able to provide hands on heritage experience using objects from the life of Lt Reginald Elphinstone Baty, who served in the Northumberland Fusiliers.

Michelle Ball & the Baty Colletion

Michelle Ball & the Baty Colletion

A week later and a tour around the Heugh Gun Battery by experienced volunteer Wendy, offered young people the opportunity to reflect on the bombardment of Hartlepool as well as consider the women who made the munitions.  Wendy provided a detailed account of how the munitions were made by the women, using an inventive model involving spaghetti!

Volunteer Wendy at the Heugh Gun Battery

Volunteer Wendy at the Heugh Gun Battery

 

Back at Throston Youth Centre, young people have been designing Mail art that encompasses a number of areas of interest and focus, including the bombardment, women’s contribution to the war, life and death situations, trench art and propaganda. Remembering Our War resource boxes, provided young people with the opportunity to reflect on their research visits and identify personal areas for Mail art production.

Ellie's Mail Art

Ellie’s Mail Art

The Princess Mary Tin was passed around the group and discussed with questions such as what was inside? who would it have been given to? what else could the tin have contained? Connections were made with some of the Mail Art sent from a group of Australian young people.  These young people had recognised the importance of staying in touch, writing letters and corresponding during the First World War.  The geographical difference between the UK and Australia would have meant an enormous time delay in receiving mail on the other side of the world.  One participant said about today’s Mail Art aspect of the project ‘It has helped me understand how close people around the world can get thanks to art’ and another participant unused to posting art ‘ the project has helped me understand sending art and how far it can go’.

Rosie & Theresa Mail Art

Rosie & Theresa Mail Art

The discussion around communication was picked up again when handling the embroidered postcards from the Home Front box.  The group had previously come across these during discussions around the definition of Trench Art, which according to some historians includes post cards embroidered by soldiers recuperating in hospital

James Wilkinson Mail Art Contributor

James Wilkinson Mail Art Contributor

The Gas mask connected to the visit to Beamish and mail art by James Wilkinson highlighting the designs and variety of gas masks used. Many in the group were struck by the primitive design. A new comer to the group noted how James Wilkinson’s Mail Art contribution showed ‘creepy gas mask people’.

A hand written letter provided difficult to decipher, but offered the opportunity to collect snippets of information.  It linked directly with mail art from young people in Australia.

Harriet Mail Art

Harriet Mail Art

The Mail Art Project using Trench Art and local WWl heritage research continues to take shape as the young people in the group begin to develop ideas for showcasing their work in the form of paper Christmas decorations at St Hilda’s Church and their contribution to 11th December event Hartlepool Remembered – Legacies of the Bombardment.  The participants ‘enjoyed using different materials’, ‘learning new things about the wars’ and looked forward to seeing ‘what types of things can we make for the Christmas Tree’.

Charlie Mail Art

Charlie Mail Art

Bailey Mail Art

Bailey Mail Art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hartlepool History site – Then and Now

Hartlepool History site – Then and Now is an archive of everyday life in Hartlepool through photographs and memories supplied by local people.

If you have family photos or stories about life in the town through any decade and would like to share them with us, then please contact us at infodesk@hartlepool.gov.uk

The site also includes a wide range of images and documents from Hartlepool’s Library and Museum Services’ collections.

There are 4600 images on the site!  Its an excellent resource for researching history, often with the names of those donating the ‘memories’ printed along side the images.

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Hartlepool Remembered: Legacies of the Bombardment

Thursday 11th December 2014

9.00 – 21.00

Hartlepool College of Further Education.

Dieter Lochle

Dieter Lochle

Hartlepool Remembered is a partnership between community groups in Hartlepool commemorating the Legacies of the Bombardment in all its forms from singing, performance, heritage, visual art, talks and much more.

The day at the magnificent Further Education College in Hartlepool  aims to tell a history of the bombardment in the form of memories and how the bombardment shaped the town up until the present day.  Run in association with the University of Leeds Legacies of War research project, the day is open to all community groups wishing to contribute to the commemorations.