Asda store needs help to put together display on First World War in Hartlepool

HISTORY: The Hartlepool Bombardment
HISTORY: The Hartlepool Bombardment

A STORE is planning to turn the clock back with an exhibition all about the First World War in Hartlepool - but it needs your help.

Asda in Marina Way in Hartlepool wants to hold a display about life in the town in 1914.

The store’s community colleague Joanne Tweddle wants the people of the town to help out by coming forward with photographs from the era.

She said: “I am appealing for people to hand in photographs from 1914 and we will photocopy them.”

Joanne plans to turn the store’s training room into an exhibition space and she added: “We want to have enough photos to fill the walls if possible.

“This is a big year for Hartlepool and its commemoration of the First World War.”

Once the exhibition has been mounted, schoolchildren will be invited in for a history lesson which will be both informative and interactive, said Joanne.

“We can hopefully get them dressed up in clothes from the period and we can say to them ‘this is what happened when Hartlepool was bombed’.”

She said the interaction would include singsongs.

The shelling of the town in the bombardment of December 16, 1914, was a sustained affair and lasted around an hour.

By the end of it, 112 civilians, nine soldiers and six sailors had been killed by the shelling from German warships. The enemy used sixty guns on their three attacking vessels, 20 of them firing 11-inch diameter shells.

After 42 minutes the Germans steamed away with the loss of eight sailors, having fired 1,150 shells and severely damaging ships in the harbour and the docks as well as civilian properties.

Joanne would like to hear from anyone with any images of Hartlepool and how it was affected by the war.

She added: “We need the photographs by March 1. We want to have enough images to show the youngsters who visit the exhibition the way that children dressed in 1914.

“We want to be able to tell them that they went to school but they had to use slates in those days.

“We want to tell them about the type of food they ate in those days.”

Anyone who can donate a photograph, to be photocopied and immediately given back to the owner, should either bring them in an envelope to the customer service desk or ring Joanne on (01429) 239000.