THE impact the Bombardment of Hartlepool had on the landscape of the town is the focus of a new book.
Hartlepool Headland Local History have released the The Bombardment of the Hartlepools Then and Now thanks to a £1,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
It looks at the many houses and sites on the Headland and in West Hartlepool that were struck by German shells on December 16, 1914, and how they look now.
Members of the history group launched the book, which is being given to schools and colleges across town, just days before the town gets ready to mark the 100th anniversary of the devastating event.
The launch took place at Hartlepool College of Further Education during the college’s Legacies of the Bombardment Hartlepool Remembered event on Thursday.
History group chairman Kevin Kelly said: “We were approached by Dr Elizabeth Pender of Leeds University who does a lot of work with the college.
“A lot of people had asked us what had happened to the houses and we thought ‘right we will have to write a book.
“We walked around the Headland and parts of West Hartlepool and took present day pictures to contrast with images from 1914.
“Everybody who has seen the book has been very complementary.” The book’s publication, by Hartlepool firm Atkinson Print, in Church Street, is the culmination of a year of hard work.
Kevin added: “This publication is the result of a lot of hard work by a steering group made up from members of the Hartlepool Headland Local History Group, my special thanks go to our secretary Eileen Manners for her sterling efforts, as well as the other members of the Steering Group, in getting the book to publication.
“The Heritage Lottery Fund have supported a project in which this publication plays an integral part in leaving a lasting pictorial legacy of the events of the past hundred years, and we will remember forever the events of the 16th December 1914.”
Just 2,000 copies of the book have been produced and a number will be given to Hartlepool’s schools and colleges to help make sure the Bombardment is never forgotten.
A number of copies will also be available to pick up at the Borough Hall during Tuesday’s commemorations.