Back to their roots

Chairman of the Horden Colliery Heritage Centre Billy Hill in one of the display rooms at the centre. Picture by FRANK REID
Chairman of the Horden Colliery Heritage Centre Billy Hill in one of the display rooms at the centre. Picture by FRANK REID

A PICTURE spread in the Hartlepool Mail led to scores of people returning to a village to retrace their roots.

The Mail featured a series of photographs which are just a few of thousands on display at Horden’s Heritage Centre that show life in the ex-mining village in the 1900s.

Horden Parish Councillor Billy Hill, who set up the heritage centre four years ago, said he was delighted with the response after 70 people attended a viewing session at the centre.

This is a huge increase on the average numbers of around half a dozen who regularly visit the facility.

The visitors included people from Hartlepool who were originally from Horden.

A delighted Coun Hill said: “We had 70 people coming to the heritage centre because of seeing it in the Hartlepool Mail.

“There were people who used to live in Horden, but moved to Hartlepool.

“When I went across, I was very surprised to see 70 people.

“It was crammed and people were excited to see all these old photographs of Horden in years gone by.

“They said they will definitely come back and that they didn’t realise there was so much to see.

“They said it was a shame they couldn’t see everything in the two hours that we are open.”

Coun Hill said a lot of the visitors recognised people in the photographs, including one man whose father was in one of them.

He added that he expects big things for the centre as he hopes the 70 people will spread the word about the facility.

Coun Hill also added that the re-printed book, 100 Years Of Horden, is now available after further copies of the book, which was originally released by Durham County Councillor Paul Stradling to mark the millennium, is now available.

People can buy it for £3 from the centre or from the post office in Fifth Street.

The Horden Heritage Centre, which also houses various memorabilia including miners’ lamps, picks and shovels, is based above the Green Leaf Cafe, in Welfare Park, and open on Thursdays from 10am-noon.

For more information about the centre, call Coun Hill on (0191) 5869099.