Thousands step back in time

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THOUSANDS of people stepped back in time as they helped celebrate the history of an ancient borough.

The sun shone and temperatures soared on Saturday for the eighth annual Hartlepool Headland Heritage Festival.

The Headland Heritage Festival was held on Saturday. Vikings from circa 800 AD re-enact a battle.

The Headland Heritage Festival was held on Saturday. Vikings from circa 800 AD re-enact a battle.

More than 3,000 people of all ages – many of them pensioners brought up on the Headland but now living elsewhere in Hartlepool – enjoyed a host of indoor and outdoor activities laid on by the Hartlepool Headland History Group.

People flocked from all over the region to enjoy the fun, which took place in the town square, Borough Hall, Croft Gardens and the old putting green.

The town square was buzzing with the sounds of popular band The Backtrackers, who belted out favourites from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, with hits from the likes of The Beatles and Del Shannon.

In the Borough Hall, people could have a look at historical table-top displays, including of old photographs showing bygone scenes from the Headland.

For the younger visitors, there was a Punch and Judy show, musician and face-painting.

Throughout the day on the putting green, there were re-enactments of Viking and Norman fighting and weaponry.

There was also a bouncy castle, stalls giving local organisations, including Headland Parish Council, a chance to promote their cause, and a host of food and craft stalls.

History group chairman David Geen said despite numbers being slightly down from last year, partly due to a serious accident on the A19 at Easington stopping people getting to the event, the event “couldn’t have gone any better”.

He added: “We had Wimbledon, the rugby on and the crash on the A19, they certainly affected us.

“But I think everyone had a fabulous day and enjoyed themselves.

“I would like to think we are the premier heritage festival in the North-East – I have never seen a better one.
“I asked my daughters how we could improve what we have done, but I think we would be hard pushed to do that.”