Gun’s opening salvo at battery

Heugh Gun Battery volunteer Gerry Raffell pictured painting the gun at the Headland site.
Heugh Gun Battery volunteer Gerry Raffell pictured painting the gun at the Headland site.
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A MUSEUM has unveiled its latest exhibit after restoring a piece of military history to its former glory.

The impressive anti-aircraft gun has gone on display at the Heugh Gun Battery museum on the Headland.

A group of volunteers spent nine months tirelessly restoring the weapon after it had been neglected for 30 years.

The Bofors gun, made in 1954, saw action with the RAF in Cyprus in the 1960s.

John Southcott, chairman of the Heugh Gun Battery said: “It was a rusting piece of junk when we got it.

“We got it from an RAF base where it had been languishing in a swamp for about 30 years.

“We had it delivered and took it to pieces using the manual.

“Now it looks absolutely fantastic. It’s just as it was when it was in service.

“It’s a very important piece for the collection.”

Hartlepool construction firm Heerema cleaned some of the gun’s major parts.

It will now join the battery’s line up of other anti-aircraft guns at the museum on Moor Terrace.

John added: “With this particular piece we have now got a representative of almost every Bofors that has ever been in service.”

The battery has enjoyed a busy summer attracting visitors from all corners of the UK.

John said: “The summer has been excellent. Over the past three years visitor figures have steadily climbed.

“We are getting visitors to the battery from all over the country. It’s been superb, and we’ve had no negative comments.”