Historical Hartlepool is brought to life on screen

Open air swimming pool, Hartlepool.
Open air swimming pool, Hartlepool.

A REGIONAL history group has created a DVD delving into Hartlepool’s past.

Six Town Ships is a group of volunteers who dedicate their time to making short films about the history of places around the North East.

And after discovering the rich and varied past of Hartlepool, the group’s John Dawson decided to make a DVD centred on the town’s past.

John has given us some stills from the archive footage to show off to help readers take a trip down memory lane.

John, 59, who lives in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, in Northumberland, said: “I’m interested in history and have been for years, and a few of us decided to put this group together in March 2002. We love what we do.

“We cover lots of places in the North East of England using photographs 
and cinefilm which we digitise.

“We realised Hartlepool would be a good place to focus on when we came across stuff about The Bombardment.

“Then we realised that the place is just heaving with history and heritage and we just thought ‘lets get stuck in here and do some work for people’.”

He added: “The DVD is 50 minutes long and it’s great for people of all ages. It’s great when you achieve something like this.

“The kids should know what their past was like because they do take things for granted these days, and it’s nice for older people to remember.”

The story starts with one of the greatest disasters in Hartlepool’s history – the Great Timber Yard Fire that began on January 4, 1922, which left over 80 people homeless and damage in the region of £1m to property and homes, said John.

There are also clips from old Hartlepool shops, the open-air swimming pool at the Headland, and the celebrations for the Coronation of King George VI on the May 12, 1937.

The DVD is available from www.sixtownships.org.uk and costs £5.99.

For further details, or if you would like to provide Six Town Ships with any cinefilm or photographs for use in future projects, telephone John on 07850 465009 or (01670) 840733.