Rain and wind does not stop Wintertide celebrations in Hartlepool

The Wintertide firework display underway from the Headland's Pilot Pier. Picture by Tom Collins.
The Wintertide firework display underway from the Headland's Pilot Pier. Picture by Tom Collins.
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Determined Hartlepool residents braved the wet and windy weather to see the finale of a winter festival.

Strong winds forced organisers of the Wintertide Festival to cancel an outdoor Christmas market and fair yesterday, over health and safety fears.

Seven year old Travis Thomas wearing a Christmas hat at the Wintertide event.

Seven year old Travis Thomas wearing a Christmas hat at the Wintertide event.

Traders had been due to set up in the town square and gardens in the Headland area of Hartlepool selling a range of festive-inspired goodies.

Strong winds and torrential rain – caused by Storm Clodagh, which prompted a yellow weather warning from the Met Office – caused the last-minute change of plans.

Where possible, events were moved indoors, as workmen set about dismantling stalls and fairground attractions.

However, the fireworks finale still went ahead as planned, marking the end of the three-day festival.

“The Wintertide Festival is a massive event in its own right and we will be back even bigger and better next year.” - James Daley.

James Daley

James Daley, a member of the Headland Carnival Committee, said: “Unfortunately due to the weather conditions, we were advised to take the stalls down and close the fair.

“It was a situation which was beyond our control. However, the previous two days have been a real success.

“We’ve had music and other events which have all gone ahead over the course of the festival.

“I’d just like to say how grateful we are for everyone’s support, including the traders who have taken part.”

A helter skelter is dismantled  due to high winds at the Wintertide site on the Headland.

A helter skelter is dismantled due to high winds at the Wintertide site on the Headland.

He added: “We are also so proud of our schoolchildren who walked from the battery to the town centre, in the rain, with lanterns, to illuminate the tree.

“The Wintertide festival is a massive event in its own right and we will be back even bigger and better next year.”

The Wintertide festival is organised by a partnership including the Hartlepool Carnival Committee, the Headland Local History Group, Headland Parish Council, St Hilda’s Church, St Helen’s and St Bega’s primary schools and the Heugh Gun Battery Museum.

It is also supported by Hartlepool Borough Council.

Closed. The fairground and outdoor stalls.

Closed. The fairground and outdoor stalls.

James Robson and the Lovely Bum performing at the Fishermans Arms on Sunday.

James Robson and the Lovely Bum performing at the Fishermans Arms on Sunday.

The Wintertide firework display underway from the Headland's Pilot Pier. Picture by Tom Collins.

The Wintertide firework display underway from the Headland's Pilot Pier. Picture by Tom Collins.