Snowmen, gridlocked roads and Christmas joy for local causes

Jasmine Laura Graham meets Santa at Jacksons Landing.
Jasmine Laura Graham meets Santa at Jacksons Landing.

Shopping at Jacksons Landing, coping with the heavy snow and gridlock on the roads - that was Hartlepool at Christmas in 1995.

Twenty one years ago, children had plenty to keep them occupied as they waited for the big day, because the weather was definitely seasonal.

Simon Boddy and Hayley Garrington take advantage of the seasonal weather.

Simon Boddy and Hayley Garrington take advantage of the seasonal weather.

They could make snowmen such was the level of the snowfall and that’s exactly what Simon Boddy and Hayley Garrington did on the Fens Estate, as pictured here.

Most of the town’s roads were covered in several inches of snow and the Hart bypass and the A689 presented difficult driving conditions for motorists. The A19 was dicey, said the authorities.

But who cared? It was Christmas! And little Jasmine Laura Graham was all smiles when she got her picture in the paper as she met Santa Claus at Jackson’s Landing.

Just as happy were Hartlepool couple Herby and Betty Clayton who had originally feared they were going to face a bleak Christmas.

Pre-Christmas cheer also came to West Hartlepool Rugby Club which won a £30,000 cash boost to introduce more children to the game

Mail reporter

That all changed when they won £150,000 in a Spot The Ball competition.

The West View couple made front page headlines, especially when we revealed just how much bad luck the family had been facing.

Mrs Clayton, then 45, had to give up her job when she hurt her back and both her husband Herby, then 46, and son Andrew, then 26, lost their jobs just weeks before Christmas.

Yet with days to go to Christmas, it all changed for the better.

They could not believe their eyes when a representative of Littlewoods knocked at the door to tell them they’d had a huge win.

But Mrs Clayton remained level-headed and said the win would not change her, and the health of her family was more important.

Pre-Christmas cheer also came to West Hartlepool Rugby Club which won a £30,000 cash boost to introduce more children to the game.

In return for the help, West would make players available to visit schools and there would be matchday visits for community groups.

If you were planning a more sedate Christmas, there was plenty to enjoy on the television. Highlights included Three Fights, Two Weddings And A Funeral - a spoof home video of the eventful marriage of Pauline Calf, alias Steve Coogan.

Michael Ball was starring on ITV in his Christmas extravaganza and there was a You’ve Been Framed Christmas special. The edition of 2Point4 Children had Bill foolishly asking Ben to do the Christmas shopping.

And the Last of the Summer Wine Christmas episode was the one where Howard decided he wanted a physique like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Or you could switch over to the satellite channels to enjoy A Fish Called Wanda and Lawrence of Arabia on Sky Movies Gold.

What are your memories of Christmas that year? Where was your favourite 90s place to shop in Hartlepool? Email chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk