HISTORY buffs have the chance to step into a war trench when a realistic replica is set up in Hartlepool next month.
The lifesize First World War trench along with a number of artefacts bringing to life stories of those who served in the Great War were brought into town yesterday as part of the launch of a fascinating history initiative.
And the trench and artefacts will return to Hartlepool with The Time Bandits - a group providing historical interpretation and living history and drama - who will be on hand with their expert knowledge.
The initiative is one of a number of First World War projects ongoing in the town this year. And 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. Designed and conceived by military historian John Sadler and Cleveland College of Art and Design artistic director Mike Myers - with help from creative students - the trench is part of a series of events, exhibitions and activities called Remembering Our War.
It was set up in the college, in Church Square, and will take pride of place again at Grayfields Sports Pavilion, in Jesmond Gardens, in the town, on Saturday, March 8 from 6pm-8pm. The Remembering Our War initiative is being delivered by Hartlepool, Darlington, Middlesbrough, Stockton and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Councils along with the Heugh Gun Battery, on the Headland, thanks to a grant from Arts Council England.
As well as giving the town’s residents the chance to experience history first hand, The Time Bandits will also be conducting a series of outreach sessions - without the trench - but based around a mobile learning pod. Those sessions will feature dramatic scenarios acted out in period costume and give people the chance to view and handle artefacts from the time.
They will be held at Asda, in Marina Way, Hartlepool, on Saturday, March 8, from 9am-noon and Middleton Grange Shopping Centre on the same day, from 1.30pm-4.30pm, before the trench is set up at Grayfields later that evening.
If you have Great War memorabilia or a story about a local relative who served in the conflict then please contact the Mail’s newsdesk on (01429) 239380.