Marking our military past

MODEL TRIBUTE: Ashley Landsbury
MODEL TRIBUTE: Ashley Landsbury

HARTLEPOOL’S flagship shopping centre is inviting people to join them in commemorating the First World War.

Middleton Grange Shopping Centre is getting ready to host two days of activities and exhibitions in tribute to the town’s maritime and wartime history.

As part of the event, members of a mental health support group and Hartlepool’s art and museums service, have made a replica of a First World War aeroplane.

The event called Step Back in Time – A History of Seafaring and the Docks in Hartlepool, takes place on Friday, September 19 and Saturday, September 20.

The aeroplane is a replica of a two-seat bi-plane flown by Hartlepool pilot Ian Pyott who shot down an enemy Zeppelin over the Heugh Breakwater.

The replica, on display now, was built by centre staff and members of Tramshed workshop.

Group members were involved in every aspect of its construction.

Kevin Hunton-Young, occupational therapy technician at the Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Group members have developed new skills, increased confidence and team working skills.

“Plus, being able to see their hard work displayed at Middleton Grange for shoppers to enjoy is a real boost to the members’ self-esteem.”

Centre manager Mark Rycraft added: “September in the centre is all about celebrating our local maritime and First World War history.

“The aeroplane is a fantastic piece for shoppers to enjoy and it’s a great reminder of a chapter of our local history.”

Other activities will include a pop-up seafaring museum, sea shanties, story-telling and crafts.

And on September 19, the Time Bandits professional living history group will act out scenarios in costume, man an exhibition and encourage people to share their war stories.