A FORMER mining village will be seen by millions of viewers when it is featured in a First World War-themed children’s drama.
Actors and a production crew from the BBC were in Blackhall earlier this week filming for a new three-part children’s show called Harriet’s Army that will be part of the network’s Great War commemorations.
The family drama will be shown on CBBC in the summer.
It follows the adventures of a group of brave and determined children as they hold the home front, revealing the astonishing real roles played by children as their fathers and brothers went to fight in the trenches.
Filming was done at the allotments in Blackhall and Blackhall Community Centre was used as a base where costumes were kept and the crew could refuel and get refreshments.
Centre manager Alison Paterson said: “For the centre to even be mentioned in the same sentence as BBC has been a great opportunity and an honour.
“The crew actually liked the look of the centre, so perhaps it could be used for future productions. “The centre, which is the old miners’ welfare hall, is quite appropriate for some of the dramas they do.
“We are hoping we can work with them in the future.”
Mark Valentine is a freelance location manager who has worked on detective series Vera and Wire In The Blood, also filmed in the region, as well as feature film Orthodox featuring This Is England star Stephen Graham, which was filmed in Hartlepool last year.
He said: “It’s a children’s show and very well-written. “It’s has an ensemble cast, with 10 to 15 core members in Harriet’s Army.
“The Blackhall allotments have got a stunning view, that relationship between the allotments and the cliffs and the sea was very attractive to us.
“We really like Blackhall, the people there were really nice and a big thanks must go to Alison at the community centre.
“We couldn’t really do it without local people.”
Hartlepool and East Durham have also featured in BBC1’s Inspector George Gently.
The Mail is marking the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War throughout 2014.
A series of commemorative supplements will be published in the paper from April onwards with coverage continuing until the centenary of the Bombardment of Hartlepool in December.
If you have Great War memorabilia or a story about a local relative who served in the conflict then please contact our newsdesk on (01429) 239380.