Welly hoying and car maintenance with a twist in Hartlepool

Kevin Lynn, left, John Lynn, Brian Webb and Brian Lynn, right, from the HUMP team.
Kevin Lynn, left, John Lynn, Brian Webb and Brian Lynn, right, from the HUMP team.

You have to admire the tenacity of these enterprising Hartlepool men in 1983.

Kevin Lynn, John Lynn, Brian Webb, and Brian Lynn were among the ten men who took matters into their own hands when they were out of work.

The Co-operative foodstore in Hartlepool.

The Co-operative foodstore in Hartlepool.

They formed a new enterprise called HUMP - Hartlepool Unemployment Maintenance Project - and launched a car maintenance workshop. But what was all the more remarkable was, they did it just three months after they had joined a car maintenance course for the unemployed.

The ten men were aged from 18 to 62 and, in their lock-up garage, they worked on everything from an ailing mini bus to a bubble car.

And they issued an appeal for other unemployed Hartlepool people to join them in their venture, especially school leavers who would be able to learn skills which would benefit them in the future.

It might have been a new venture but some garages in the area were already directing their work towards the team.

But just as impressively, the new HUMP team were not actually receiving payment for their work. Instead, they were asking customers to make donations to the Hartlepool Unemployment Field Office.

The class was one of several projects pioneered by the field office in Park Road as part of the Cleveland Council of Churches unemployment programme.

Do you remember the scheme? Were you a part of it? We would love to know more.

Also in Hartlepool, the Co-op store in Stockton Street was in the news with reports it was about to close its food department but union leaders were opposing the move.

Co-op officials said at the time that the main reason for the proposal was competition from large supermarket developments.

Also in the news that year, the Seaton Hotel had just held a welly-hoying competition.

Each contestant paid 10 pence to throw a wellington boot as far as they could. George Scott was the winner. Did you take part and how far was your welly hoy?

Other events on the same day including egg and spoon races and a half-yard of ale contest which was won by Steve Radford. Landlord Tom Gibson said the money raised from the events would go to a local charity.

Elsewhere in town, new ballroom and Latin dance classes were on offer at the Paul Hopper Studios.

White Light were the showgroup playing at the West Workingmen’s Club and country duo The Hatfields were on at the Hourglass.

There were quiz nights at the Raglan and Ye Olde Durhams or you could watch ET at the Hartlepool Fairworld.

On the television, the Kenny Everett Television Show was on BBC1 and Police Squad was on ITV.

So was Northern Life, The Comedians and who remembers First Love - P’Tang Yang Kipperbang - the story a 14-year-old boy’s first crush?

Get in touch with all your 1983 memories. Email chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk