Big demand for book on village’s war heroes

Blackhall Local History Group members with copies of the new publication.
Blackhall Local History Group members with copies of the new publication.

A book which celebrates a village’s war heroes is flying off the shelves.

Around 300 copies of Blackhall Heroes have already been sold and there’s plenty left for those still wanting to get their hands on a piece of history.

We have sold 300 in less than a fortnight. The proceeds will go into our group for the next project

Stanley Gray

Blackhall’s Local History Group is behind the publication and treasurer Stanley Gray said: “We have sold 300 in less than a fortnight.

“The proceeds will go into our group for the next project.”

Blackhall Heroes chronicles the real-life memoirs of those who fought during the Second World War, the families left behind, those who were taken prisoner of war, and the heartache of those who never saw their loved ones again.

The publication deals with the more intimate tragedies of the war.

Copies priced at £5 are available from Meikles the chemist, Robinsons hardware shop and Snipz hairdressers which are all in Middle Street in Blackhall.

Mr Gray added: “There are plenty of copies left for anyone who wants to buy one.”

The group’s next project will be a commemoration of the Battle of the Somme and members will work with schools in the village to put it together.

The Royal British Legion and Beamish Museum are also expected to be involved, said Mr Gray.

The book was the result of history group members collating stories from people who were in the war, those who did active service and the families of those who never came home.

It took six years to complete and Mr Gray said it included speaking to one family who were living in Malta.

He said it was important to capture the memories of those who lived during the war and to highlight the stories of the heroes who came from Blackhall.

The Blackhall Local History Group was formed at a meeting held in Blackhall Colliery library on November 8, 1999, and consisted of 10 members.

The group has produced five books based on the area of Blackhall from the mining era and the breakout of World War One.