Hartlepool war memorial statue fund tops £18,000 after series of memorabilia sales
A fund to provide a replacement statue at a Hartlepool war memorial has topped £18,000.
Fundraiser Stephen Close is leading the project to restore the Boer War memorial in Ward Jackson Park to its former glory.
He set up a £25,000 appeal to pay for a new statue of a soldier after the previous one was stolen, presumably for scrap, more than 50 years ago.
The fund was given another boost recently when a fourth Healthful Hartlepool tourism poster, acquired by Stephen, was sold on the History of Hartlepool In Images Facebook site for an impressive £850.
With 29,000 members, word of the poster’s sale spread across the world.
But the unique piece of Hartlepool’s heritage from the early 1900s is staying local after being bought by Hartlepool resident Nick Clennett who was the highest bidder.
Stephen said: “Nick was absolutely thrilled to be the top bidder and finally own a unique piece of Hartlepool’s heritage.”
The sale of history books and memorabilia have also added to the total.
There is now less than £7,000 left to raise before construction on the new statue starts in 2022 by Seaham’s Tommy statue creator Ray Lonsdale.
This weekend, a framed 150-year-old cricket match poster donated by former Hartlepool Mail chief photographer Tom Collins will be auctioned off.
It was for a benefit match in September 1871 between West Hartlepool Cricket Club and West Hartlepool Amateur Cricket Club in aid of professional player T Moorhouse.
Stephen said: “We’re very grateful to Tom for his generous donation and I would expect to reach well in excess of £100 for it.
"These historical items are few and far between now and that is the reason we try to frame everything.
"It keeps it in pristine condition.”
Stephen is looking for anyone who has any more of the original Healthful Hartlepool posters for the project to contact by email.
Donations to the appeal can also be made online at gofundme.com/the-replacement-boer-war-statue