Children composing poems to remember Bombardment of Hartlepool

A newly restored painting of the bombardment of the town
A newly restored painting of the bombardment of the town

STRUGGLING to find something to occupy your children during the upcoming school holidays?

Why not ask them to start composing their own tribute to the victims of the Bombardment of Hartlepool?

The Hartlepool Mail has teamed up with Hartlepool Borough Council to launch a poetry competition to mark the devastating day’s centenary.

Winning entries in two age categories will have their work published in an official brochure and will also have the opportunity to read their work out at a civic reception on December 16. Leaflets are to be sent to schools and colleges to encourage pupils to enter the under 11 and 11-19 age categories.

But there is nothing to stop you submitting your own entries individually over the summer break.

What we want you to do is study Hartlepool artist James Clark’s definitive painting of the bombardment before wiring a poem of no more than 100 words.

Themes you may want to cover include what it would have been like to have been caught up in arguably the biggest event in the town’s history. It could be that you write your poem from the perspective of one of the various types of people illustrated by Clark.

You may also want to consider the period and location of the painting or describe generally what is going on.

Mail editor Joy Yates said: “I would once again like to thank Hartlepool Borough Council for joining up with the Mail to launch this competition.

“The winning entries will form part of an unforgettable centenary tribute to those who lost their lives in the attack and I hope as many youngsters as possible will take the time to enter.”

For anyone needing a closer look at the Clark’s painting, it will form part of the council’s Voices of the Bombardment exhibition from September 20.

The closing dates for submissions is Friday, October 10, with the Mail publishing as many of the entries as possible before judges pick a shortlist and then a winner and three highly commended entries from each categories.

Details of prizes on offer will be announced soon.

Completed entries should be sent to: War Poetry Competition, Hartlepool Mail, New Clarence House, Wesley Square, Hartlepool, TS24 8BX.