Stateside but still a Poolie

Eileen Kelly McKinney with her husband Tom
Eileen Kelly McKinney with her husband Tom

A MUM who has lived for decades in the United States says she is still a Poolie through and through as she backed the Mail’s campaign to big-up the town.

Hartlepool-born Eileen Kelly McKinney and her husband Tom joined in the Mail’s Proud to be a Poolie campaign during a two-week Caribbean cruise that took in Cozumel, Costa Maya, Grand Caymens, Nassau, St Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turk.

The couple live in Antioch, which is between San Francisco and Sacramento in California, but regularly visit Hartlepool to see several family members still living in the town.

Her brother Stanley, and his wife, Ann, live in Clifton Avenue and Eileen and Tom stay with them twice a year when they come “home”.

Eileen, a mum of one with three grandchildren, has been interested in travelling from an early age after her dad returned from serving in Egypt during the Second World War.

The retired doctors’ surgery worker said: “My dad was full of stories about the five years he spent in Egypt during the war and I fell in love with the idea that I could travel.

“My first dream was at age 11 while I was washing up I told my mam and dad when I was 18 I was going to live in Australia.

“I didn’t make it there until I was almost 40 and my husband surprised me with a trip.

“Dreams do come true, you just have to be patient.”

Eileen moved to the US when she was 18 and went on to meet her husband Tom who was in the Navy and served several tours to Vietnam in the 1960s.

She says her heart is still in Hartlepool and was proud to back our campaign.

Eileen added: “I’ll always be a monkey hanger from Hartlepool because of the family and friends I know there and the many friends I keep in touch with who left that are in the US and Canada.

“Besides, my car licence plate has the words, ‘Monkey Hanger from Hartlepool’ around it to let everyone else know.”

Our thanks go to them for backing our Poolie campaign.

Why not take your chance to show your passion about your town?

All we want you to do is pick up a copy of our new poster from the Hartlepool Mail reception or download it from our website at www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk It contains the slogan Proud To Be A Poolie.

Take it with you whenever you go on holiday or go away for a short break.

Have your photograph taken with the poster and send it to us so that we can publish it – and show that you have helped to spread the Hartlepool word.

Send your photos to the Mail newsdesk, Hartlepool Mail, New Clarence House, Wesley Square, Hartlepool, TS24 8BX, or log onto www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk