Hartlepool heroes highlighted in new exhibition

CARING: RNLI volunteer Henry Hood.

CARING: RNLI volunteer Henry Hood.

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A NEW history exhibition is set to highlight the heroism and dedication of the emergency services over the past two centuries.

Safe and Sound, at the Museum of Hartlepool, will showcase the work of the local police and fire brigades, railway services, health professionals, civil defence units in the two world wars and lifesaving groups such as the RNLI and the Rocket Brigades.

HERO: A policeman.

HERO: A policeman.

However, heritage experts need help to uncover the fascinating stories behind artefacts in the museum’s social history collection and are appealing for members of the public to share their own memories of the emergency services.

The project is a two-year collaboration between the Museum of Hartlepool, Darlington’s Head of Steam Museum and the Dorman and Captain Cook Museums, in Middlesbrough.

Anna Dodgson, Cultural Officer at Hartlepool Council, said: “Safe and Sound brings to life stories of emergency response that have been hidden within our social history collections for decades. Throughout the project we hope to highlight the bravery of the men and women who have kept our communities safe and sound, and in so doing say ‘thank you’ for their hard work and dedication.”

Stories uncovered so far include the courage of the Hood family, who were in charge of the Seaton Carew lifeboat.

We hope to highlight the bravery of the men and women who have kept our communities safe and sound, and in so doing say ‘thank you’ for their hard work and dedication.

Anna Dodgson, cultural officer

Henry Hood was awarded the Albert Medal by Queen Victoria and the RNLI’s silver medal for his bravery in rescuing the crew of Norwegian schooner The Atlas, which ran aground on the Longscar Rocks in 1883. His medals and a silver watch presented to him on his retirement are now housed in the museum.

“From the crews of the lifeboats, to the police on the railways, there are so many fascinating stories waiting to be heard, and so many artefacts in our museums that can bring them to life,” said Anna.

“We hope that over this year people will help us to understand more about emergency response in the Tees Valley by volunteering to help us sift through our collections and by telling us about their experiences of emergency response in the area.”

The project will go on display to the public next year, with a touring exhibition also visiting partner venues. For more information or to submit stories, call 01429 523428, email anna.dodgson@hartlepool.gov.uk or visit www.safeandsoundteesvalley.wordpress.com

HERO: A nurse whose picture is featured in the exhibition.

HERO: A nurse whose picture is featured in the exhibition.