Poets step back in time to remember Hartlepool Bombardment

Hartlepool mayor Stephen Akers-Belcher has used the backdrop of a newly restored paining of the bombardment of th town to launch a poetry competition with the Mail to mark th start of the First World War.
Hartlepool mayor Stephen Akers-Belcher has used the backdrop of a newly restored paining of the bombardment of th town to launch a poetry competition with the Mail to mark th start of the First World War.
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A HARTLEPOOL Mail-backed project to get children writing about the town’s bombardment will step up a gear in the coming weeks.

The Hartlepool Mail has teamed up with Hartlepool Borough Council to launch a poetry competition.

It encourages children to start composing their own tribute to the victims of the Bombardment of Hartlepool.

What we want you to do is study Hartlepool artist James Clark’s definitive painting of the bombardment before writing a poem of no more than 100 words.

And you’ll get the perfect chance for inspiration when the famous painting goes on show later this month.

For anyone needing a closer look at Clark’s painting, it will form part of the council’s Voices of the Bombardment exhibition from September 20. It will be held at the Museum of Hartlepool.

To commemorate 100 years since the fateful attack on the Hartlepools, this major exhibition looks at the Bombardment of the town during the First World War and its effect on Hartlepool. It is part of the Tees Valley Remembering Our War project.

The display of the painting could be just the inspiration for your own poetic contribution to the competition.

Winning entries in two age categories will have their work published in an official brochure and will also have the opportunity to read their work out at a civic reception on December 16. Leaflets are to be sent to schools and colleges to encourage pupils to enter the under 11 and 11-19 age categories.

Themes you may want to cover include what it would have been like to have been caught up in arguably the biggest event in the town’s history. More than 100 people lost their lives as German ships shelled the town.

It could be that you write your poem from the perspective of one of the various types of people illustrated by Clark. You may also want to consider the period and location of the painting or describe generally what is going on.

The closing dates for submissions is Friday, October 10, with the Mail publishing as many of the entries as possible before judges pick a shortlist and winner plus three highly commended entries from each categories.

Completed entries should be sent to: War Poetry Competition, Hartlepool Mail, New Clarence House, Wesley Square, Hartlepool, TS24 8BX.