Hartlepool’s oldest church set for First World War restoration

Rev Janet Burbury, Councillor Jean Robinson and Councillor Paul Beck beside one of the windows.
Rev Janet Burbury, Councillor Jean Robinson and Councillor Paul Beck beside one of the windows.

A RESTORATION project at Hartlepool’s oldest church timed to coincide with the centenary of the start of the First World War has won the backing of councillors.

The three Hart ward councillors on Hartlepool Council – Paul Beck, Jean Robinson and David Riddle - have donated money towards the renovation of two commemorative stained glass windows at Hart Parish Church in Hart Village which dates from 675AD.

One of the windows, a memorial to the 1914-18 First World War, is in the church’s South Aisle, while the other, which commemorates the Second World War, is on the south side of The Chancel.

The £4,000 restoration work, which is being carried out by a specialist company, involves cleaning the windows and fitting them with protective new Plexi-Glass that is UV resistant and does not go opaque.

Couns Beck and Robinson, both Labour councillors, have each donated £700 towards the cost of the works and Coun Riddle who represents Putting Hartlepool First, has given £1,500.

The money has come from their Ward Member Budgets, individual pots of money given by Hartlepool Borough Council to each of its councillors for them to spend on grassroots projects.

Coun Beck said: “It seems particularly fitting that these windows should be restored to their original condition as we prepare to mark 100 years since the start of the First World War.”

Coun Riddle said: “The history of Hartlepool is really important to me and I am delighted to be able to offer my support and ensure these windows survive for future generations.”

And Coun Robinson added: “It is very important that we never forget those who have given their lives for their country and I am proud to be playing a part in the restoration of these windows.”

Reverend Janet Burbury, Priest for Hart and Elwick and Area Dean for Hartlepool, said: “I would like to thank all three of our ward councillors for their generous support, it really is much appreciated.”

The restoration of the windows is part of a wider project at the church which also includes enhancing church signage in Hart Village for the benefits of tourists, visitors and locals and the renovation of a tomb and a number of memorial stones erected in the church’s graveyard in memory of the many local soldiers who died in the First World War.