Appeal for 'tall stories' about Hartlepool ahead of the Tall Ships Races 2023

Council chiefs in Hartlepool are looking for some tall stories to welcome the Tall Ships back to the town next year.
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Ahead of next’s July spectacle, people are being encouraged to share their stories and memories of the town’s maritime and industrial heritage for a special exhibition to help celebrate the event.

Artist Jonny Hannah has been commissioned by Hartlepool Borough Council to create the exhibition, called Shipbuilders and Fisherfolk, by working with residents and community groups to uncover stories from the town’s past.

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The exhibition will run from June to October next year, with installations at Hartlepool Art Gallery and the Museum of Hartlepool and in other forms such as story trails.

Jonny has created a number of different strands to the project, including fisherfolk, shipbuilders, the life story of a ship built in Hartlepool, shops and traders of yesteryear, sea songs, your Hartlepool of tomorrow, Hartlepool heroes now and then – from Captain Cutlass and Navvy Nan to Savannah Marshall - and Monkey Business – a homage to the Monkey Legend.

He said: “Hartlepool is a treasure trove of stories and characters. There are myths and legends, but also folk who very much existed, like Fish Annie, selling fresh (or not too fresh!) fish from a pram.

“I can't wait to start to make all the new artworks.”

Councillor Bob Buchan, chairman of the council’s adult and community-based services committee, added: “We’re really excited to see what Jonny will create.

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“There’s nowhere quite like Hartlepool and I’m sure people will provide Jonny with ample inspiration to produce something remarkable.”

Jonny can be contacted by email at [email protected]