Maritime takeover start of ‘exciting time’ for Hartlepool

CBBC presenter Nicola Wood.
CBBC presenter Nicola Wood.

Tourism bosses say that a family fun day set to mark the National Museum of the Royal Navy taking over the running of Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience is just a taste of things to come.

The NMRN has now taken over the running of the attraction from Hartlepool Council and over the coming years it will invest heavily in the site, creating a museum which will feature a host of items from its collection and attract an estimated 140,000 extra visitors to the town each year.

The transfer of the Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience site to the National Museum of the Royal Navy is a very positive and progressive step in the further development of the town.

Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher

Once completed, the new museum will tell the story of the Royal Navy surface fleet, the Fleet Air Arm, the Royal Marines and the Submarine Service and will include exhibits such as aircraft and guns.

To celebrate the start of the change, the council and the NMRN have organised the fun day – called ‘Welcome Aboard!’ - at the Maritime Experience – which is being renamed the National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool - on Saturday, June 18, from 12pm to 5pm.

A volley of musket fire will open the event at noon, followed by speeches of welcome and entertainment throughout the afternoon from BBC Tees on a special stage in the main car park.

Also taking to the stage will be CBeebies presenter Andy Day as he welcomes people on a Royal Navy museum adventure.

CBBC’s Nicola Wood will be inviting people to help her make a giant sand sculpture and there will be entertainment from Hartlepool Community Choir, a display by Hartlepool Sea Cadets and some tasty summer food and drink on sale.

Hartlepool Council leader Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher said: “We are very excited about the National Museum of the Royal Navy coming to Hartlepool.

“The transfer of the Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience site to the National Museum of the Royal Navy is a very positive and progressive step in the further development of the town.

“This, in conjunction with the exciting plans for the waterfront area of the town, herald an exciting time for Hartlepool, its residents and visitors to the area.

“We welcome the National Museum of the Royal Navy to the town and look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with it.”

John Rawlinson, the NMRN’s Director of Visitor Experience said: “What a great way to mark our arrival in town with a fun-packed family day.

“We’re really looking forward to running events like this regularly so there are always lots of reasons to come and visit.

“It’s great to be working with the local community to tell the fascinating story of naval heritage in the region.”

People will also be able to catch the Museum of Hartlepool’s new exhibition for the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Jutland and the launch of some new maritime-themed laser-cut artworks by artist Helen Snell and students from High Tunstall College of Science at the nearby Hartlepool Art Gallery in Church Square.

The event finishes at 5pm with a dazzling display of daytime fireworks over the marina.