Happy birthday Your Majesty - and here's a 1993 reminder of when the people of Hartlepool welcomed you so warmly

A sun-soaked celebration. That’s how the Queen’s visit was described in 1993 when she came to town to officially launch Hartlepool Marina.

Thursday, 21st April 2022, 2:53 pm

It certainly was a day of sunshine and happy memories for lots of people in town including those who got to meet Her Majesty.

Today, as the Queen celebrates her 96th birthday, we take a look at the day she graced Hartlepool in fine style.

It was a moment to remember for schoolgirl Emma Metcalf who got to hand a posy to the Queen.

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Memories from a royal day in Hartlepool's history.

Lily Weatherall, 82, loved it as well because she also got to meet Her Majesty.

But it was much more besides and, as the Hartlepool Mail put it at the time: "Young and old made it a day to remember for a town trying to forget the last few troubled years."

It was described as proof that Hartlepool’s renaissance was well on course and MP Peter Mandelson said: "The Royal visit brought out the people of Hartlepool and brought out the best of the people of Hartlepool."

The Queen and Prince Philip were in town to open the Teesside Development Corporation’s new £165m Marina and the Maritime Heritage Centre.

The Queen took time to meet the people of Hartlepool on her 1993 visit.

Shortly after arriving aboard the Royal Yacht, the royal party disembarked on a barge and arrived at the marina lock gates to be met by local dignitaries and huge crowds.

The Queen was to be given a tour of the new complex and tour the Historic Ships Centre while the Duke looked round HMS Trincomalee which was undergoing restoration work at the time.

From there, Her Majesty was due to visit Bramley Court sheltered housing complex at Rossmere before heading back to the Royal yacht Britannia where she was due to host a reception.

Later that night, the Band of the Royal Marines played and a giant fireworks display lit up the Marina sky.

The Queen and Prince Philip arrive in town to officially open the new marina.

But the preparations for the Royal arrival had started much earlier.

The night before, a beacon was lit on the Headland to mark the 400th anniversary of a freedom charter being handed over by Queen Elizabeth 1 as well as being a sign of welcome for the Royal guests.

Later, workmen were out from the early hours on the day of the Royal arrival, sweeping up. And the Davis family from Greatham were the first to arrive and managed to book a prime spot to see the Queen.

To complete the day, as the Royal Yacht slipped its moorings in the evening at Irvine Quay, a grand fireworks display was held at the marina and it was watched by an estimated 200,000 spectators.

A day to remember for young and old alike.

Hartlepool continued to make the headlines later the same month when Hartlepool-born Andy Linighan starred for Arsenal in the FA Cup final.

We would love to hear more about Hartlepool and its royal visit in 1993.

Did you get to see the Queen? Perhaps you got to see the giant firework display or got to see Britannia.

Get in touch and tell us more about that historic occasion. Email [email protected]

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9 photos to remind you of Royal visits to Hartlepool - including some rare image...
Ready to greet the Queen in 1993.
Arriving on the Royal barge.
Smartly dressed for the big day.
A warm welcome on a red hot day.
So proud to play an important role on the day.
The Royal Yacht Britannia pictured at Irvines' Quay during the visit.