Wartime town pictures needed

Hartlepool's Church Street after a bombing raid during the Second World War
Hartlepool's Church Street after a bombing raid during the Second World War

A GRANDMOTHER has sent out an appeal for Hartlepool Mail readers to help her make her granddaughter’s school wartime project a success.

Town woman Maureen Jones is appealing for anyone with pictures of Hartlepool during the Second World War to get in touch.

She hopes the photographs, particularly of bombings in Hilda Street, can be used in her 10-year-old granddaughter Laura Murray’s school project.

Laura lives in Marlow in Buckinghamshire and plans to base her project on a story told through the eyes of her grandmother.

Mrs Jones, 74, lived in Thomas Street as a girl and remembers being a youngster when a bomb hit nearby Hilda Street.

She said: “I remember going in the air shelter and coming out the next day and half our street was gone.

“Laura is doing a school project and has to include pictures.

“I have written to her and told her things about what happened in the war, but haven’t got any pictures to go with it.

“If you look on the internet, there are only pictures of London.

“I thought if she could have some Hartlepool pictures and something unique like a grandparent involved at the time, she might get a good award,” added Mrs Jones.

According to records, nine people were killed and one was injured after bombs dropped on Hilda Street on Thursday, August 29, 1940.

The blast caused a crater 40ft wide and 22ft deep and several houses were wrecked.

A second bomb was dropped in Pilgrim Street, and both bombs were in close proximity to steelworks.

Gas and water mains were also damaged, along with telephone wires, and a number of residents were made homeless.

Mrs Jones, who lives in the Rift House area of town, said Laura will call her project Maureen’s War.

She added: “She’s going to make it as if she’s me at the time of the war.

“It’s absolutely important that children learn about the war.

“I wrote to her explaining what had happened to us and explaining what rationing was like.

“She thought it was amazing, she didn’t know it happened, but youngsters should, heaven forbid it should happen again.”

Mrs Jones is appealing for any Hartlepool-related Second World War pictures, in particularly where bombs had landed in the town.

Laura’s project has to be complete by Monday, October 31.

Anyone who can help can call Mrs Jones on (01429) 891691.