Headland Heritage Festival goes down a storm after being threatened by bad weather

Foggy Furze Quilters and Embroiderers Guild members(left to right) Bea Parsons, Barbara Salvin, Aileen Knight and Lorna Scott with one of the examples of their work that was on display at the Headland event.
Foggy Furze Quilters and Embroiderers Guild members(left to right) Bea Parsons, Barbara Salvin, Aileen Knight and Lorna Scott with one of the examples of their work that was on display at the Headland event.

Organisers of an annual heritage event in Hartlepool shrugged off bad weather to make it a day to remember.

The Headland Heritage Festival was due to go ahead on Sturday - with events both indoors and outdoors.

Time for a brew. A First World war scene where Derek Lowther was shown enjoying a mug of tea.

Time for a brew. A First World war scene where Derek Lowther was shown enjoying a mug of tea.

Bands and performers were due to entertain crowds at the Town Square, but rain and strong winds put a dampener on the plans.

The entertainment was moved inside Borough Hall, where other activities were taking place, and the event went on to wow the crowds.

Kevin Kelly, chairman of Hartlepool Headland Local History Group, said: “The event itself went ahead but the weather meant that we couldn’t have anything outside.

“The stalls and gazebos that we’d put up were blowing over and we had no choice but to move the music inside the Borough Hall. It’s the first time we’ve ever had to do that.

“Some people were a bit upset about it because they couldn’t hear over the bands inside the hall, but we had to make the best of the situation.”

The event, now in its 11th year, invites history buffs to delve into their family history and learn more about the town and where they came from.

Throughout the day, people could chat to representatives from local groups with a history theme, while enjoying the entertainment from bands The Layton Family and Baton Rouge, singer Becca Johnston, the Trimdon Concert Brass Band, Hartlepool’s bubble man, Richard Shaw, belly dancer Vanessa Gooding and the Headlands Hawks cheerleaders and gymnasts.

Kevin said: “The one thing that we had to cancel was the two little ponies we had coming along.

“It was so cold that the poor things were shivering and they had to go home. Things like that are always a big crowd pleaser and the kids would have loved it, so it was very unfortunate that they couldn’t stay.

“I’d say 90% of the people who came along loved it, and a lot of them said they would be back next year, which is great.

“We’ve learned from the problems with the weather and have a plan in place if the same thing happens next year.

“All of the entertainment went down a storm, especially the bands and the bubble man.

“He was making huge bubbles and the kids were in awe. He was letting them make smaller bubbles and he went down such a storm that we’ve already booked him for our next event.

“The Hartlepool Youth Initiative was fantastic as well. They did a Second World War re-enactment and were all dressed in period uniforms.”

He added: “The bad weather really was very unfortunate and in hindsight, moving the bands indoors wasn’t the best idea because some people were upset about it.

“But you can’t plan the weather and you have to make the best of it. Overall it was a brilliant day and a lot of fun.”