A POPULAR tourist site has taken delivery of a host of exciting new historical artefacts and memorabilia.
The Heugh Gun Battery Trust, in Moor Terrace, on the Headland, is now the proud owner of a horse-drawn artillery carriage, a 12ft model of HMS Malaya and an army kit chest which belonged to a former soldier who was awarded a medal for helping to defend the Battery during the bombardment.
The site defended the town against the German sea bombardment on December 16, 1914.
Town man Sergeant Tom Douthwaite received the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his efforts and his family, who live in Jersey, have donated his memorabilia to the Battery.
There was also a hand-crafted doll’s house within the items donated by Sgt Douthwaite’s family and a copy of the Northern Daily Mail from 1939.
The horse drawn artillery carriage dates back to 1938 and was part of the Household Cavalry. It was transported on a trailer from a museum near Ipswich.
Trust bosses say the carriage, which had been advertised for disposal, needs four new tyres but is currently on display.
The HMS Malaya, of the British Royal Navy, was built on the Tyne and served in the Battle of Jutland and as part of the D-Day landings before it was scrapped in 1948.
The model has been photographed and documented and is in storage while it is worked on, but visitors can still see the model, which was brought up from the Imperial War Museum Duxford.
The Heugh Battery has a 41-strong collection of heavy guns and barrels and is behind only The Royal Artillery Museum in Woolwich, and Fort Nelson, in Southampton, in terms of the amount of artillery it houses.
Battery chairman John Southcott said: “We are delighted to have boosted the collection.
“We are looking forward to a busy summer and anticipate adding to the collection in future.”
The trust has also recently taken receipt of a rare stick pin badge, which dates back to 1915 and was sold at the time to raise funds for the former hospital on the Friarage Fields, on the Headland.
Over the past three years, annual visitor numbers at the trust have risen by 120 per cent from 3,000 to between 7,000 and 8,000.
For admission prices and more information call (01429) 270746.