New book shines light on Hartlepool's industrial heritage

History enthusiasts can take a fascinating journey into Hartlepool’s rich past in a new book that has been published about the town.

Tuesday, 13th August 2019, 12:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 13th August 2019, 1:11 pm
Workers at Gray's Shipyard.

Old Hartlepool & West Hartlepool written by author Paul Chrystal features over 100 pictures including a number of photographs many will never have seen before.

It focuses on the ancient seaport of Hartlepool and the industrial boom of the mid 1800s when West Hartlepool was the third largest seaport in England and home to large industry including shipyards and city and iron foundries.

More recent history including the First and Second World Wars, the stories of Seaton Carew and Stranton and social life up to the 1950s and 60s is also featured.

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The cover of Old Hartlepool & West Hartlepool by Paul Chrystal.

Paul, 64, who lives in York, said: “I have written about three or four books on Hartlepool. It is a town that a lot of people don’t know has an interesting history.

“I have tried to be comprehensive covering the industrial and social history and to show just what a powerful force it was in British industry in the recent past.

“Compared to my previous books about Hartlepool this is bigger and has more pictures than the others.”

Some of the photos included in the book come from a private collection obtained by the author and publishers Stenlake Publishing.

The Hartlepool docks.

“There is stuff that isn’t quite as well known as the inevitable pictures of Church Street in 1910 that everyone has seen,” added Paul who lived in Hartlepool for around 10 years from the age of 12.

The scene on the front cover shows an unofficial salvage operation by the locals when the SS Otra was wrecked off the North Sands in June 1912.

The book is dedicated to Paul’s late uncle Eric Priest who was the Chief Fire Officer for Cleveland and who Paul says epitomised the spirit of the town.Old & West Hartlepool is on sale now priced £20. For more details visit

The publishers are giving away three copies of the book with the Mail.

Billsborow grocers of Durham Street.

To be in with a chance of winning one just answer the following question: What is the name of the ship that was wrecked on the North Sands in 1912?

Send your answers to Mark Payne, Book Competition, Hartlepool Mail, Advanced House, Wesley Square, Hartlepool, TS24 8BX.

Alternatively, email [email protected]

Please include your address and a phone number. The closing date for entries is Monday, August 19.

The Rock Avons, one of Hartlepool's top bands of the mid sixties.