HISTORY enthusiasts can look back in time and witness the devastation caused by the Bombardment of Hartlepool in a new DVD.
Rare archive footage of that fateful day 99 years ago next week is included in the video made by a community history group.
Monday marks exactly 99 years since German warships opened fire on the town, just a few months after the start of the First World War.
Hartlepool: A Journey Through Time uses archive footage and still photographs to delve into Hartlepool’s rich history, starting on December 16, 1914.
John Dawson, of the Six Town Ships history group, said: “World War One had been going a few months.
“But what was to happen on that day took the people of Hartlepool by surprise.”
The attack saw three German warships approach the coastline and begin firing shells into the town. It resulted in 118 deaths and over 400 injured.
The DVD reveals rare archive footage from that day which shows the destruction caused to streets including Moor Terrace, Scarborough Street, Crimdon Street, Noel Street, Dene Street, and Blake Street.
The film also features more rare film of peace celebrations at the end of the war.
As the DVD moves forward in time viewers are taken to more happy times in our town’s history including Hartlepool Carnival and Seaton Carew in days long gone too.
A royal visit by Princess Anne to open Middleton Grange Shopping Centre in May 1970 also makes the DVD.
Hartlepool’s ship and boat building heritage are on film along with farming from as far back as 1904.
And do you remember the Big Freeze of 1963?
If you were not around then the film gives an insight into how the town struggled through all the snow.
Hartlepool: A Journey Through Time is available from the website www.sixtownships.org.uk.
It costs £5.99, but is free to all schools.
ON Monday, December 16, the Headland will once again fall silent as it remembers the victims of the Bombardment.
A host of civic dignitaries and organisations will take part in the service which is organised annually by the Heugh Gun Battery which defended the town during the attack.
The service will be held in the Memorial Gardens at 8.10am.
This marks the exact time when the Imperial German Navy ships began the firing of 1,150 shells at the town.
Wreaths will be laid and local schoolchildren will release 40 balloons to remember the children who were killed.
Everyone is welcome to attend.
Coverage of this solemn event will appear on our www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk website on Monday morning.
A full report and more pictures will appear in Tuesday’s paper.