Good to hear the joy and enthusiasm of Hartlepool people – Mike Hill MP

Without a shadow of a doubt last week was a brilliant one for Hartlepool.

Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 9:14 am
Hartlepool Business Awards 2019 at The Borough Hall.

At long last there was an explosion of good news and Hartlepudlian spirits were running high for all the right reasons.

No doom and gloom, no negativity; just sheer joy and enthusiasm for what we are, who we are and what we represent.

They will remain nameless, but travelling home on the Grand Central last week I met enough people to know that a significant number of folk from the town had been to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. Good on them.

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It’s right that people get recognised for the voluntary work they do in their communities, and everyone appeared to have had a good time.

Then there were the Hartlepool Business Awards on the Thursday night celebrating the rich vein of talent, both established and emerging, that we have here in the town.

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners and runners-up.

The event is a popular showcase for the burgeoning ambitions we have in wanting to make the place a success, be a place to invest in and come to, and very well done to Andy Steel for organising yet another spectacular event.

Of course it was a week of waiting with baited breath to see how our very own Michael Rice got on in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Sadly, his UK entry went the way of many others over the years, which has led to many observations that there is a political element to voting in Eurovision (sounds familiar?) but, despite the result, Michael did us proud.

He never once forgot his roots throughout his amazing journey to the finals in Tel Aviv and truly did put Hartlepool on the map in the eyes of the nation.

We rightly should all be proud of him and his achievements.

For those of us who watched the whole of Eurovision until around midnight to see how Michael got on, it was a bit of a strain to get up at 4.30am the next morning to get ready for the Tommy to Tommy walk in support of the Heugh Battery Museum, but we did it.

In fact around 200 people did it all told, and 160 managed to do the 16-mile walk between Seaham and the Headland.

It was gruelling but well worth it to support such an important Hartlepool asset and the only First World War battlefield remaining on UK soil.

Poignantly, the organisers Stephen Picton, Dave Hunter and Ian Cawley had made it special by providing walkers with individual name tags in honour of the soldiers and civilian men, women and children killed in the 1914 bombardment of the Headland.

I was truly honoured as the MP to proudly walk in the name of Theophilus Jones; the first victim of the attack.

It was a fabulous event and one which united the people around a common cause which is dear to their hearts.

On the subject of things dear to the heart, the week ended with the wonderful sight of demolition equipment waiting to demolish the Longscar building at Seaton Carew.

No fireworks or advanced notice to mark this important moment in the town’s history, but its significance has rightly drawn the long-overdue celebratory comments it deserves.

At last the eyesore, which has blighted Seaton Front for so long, is going. A fitting conclusion to a great week in Hartlepool.