A campaign to save Hartlepool’s historically important Heugh gun battery museum has received support from an unlikely source.
A Swedish metal band called Sabaton have offered to help the Heugh Battery Museum raise the money it needs to stay open by making a special T-shirt with all proceeds from sales going to the cause.
The museum, which tells the story of how it defended the Hartlepools when they came under attack from German warships in 1914, needs to raise £5,000 soon to stay open.
The Mail is backing the museum through our Battery Charge campaign to help boost funds, visitors and awareness.
The band have a huge following with millions of fans around the world and their songs have a strong historical emphasis on war, battles, and acts of heroism.
They are named after a piece of a knight’s armour.
Bass player Pär Sundström told the Mail: “A member of our UK team brought this to our attention after discovering the fundraising effort while researching World War 1 related locations in the UK for possible photoshoots.
“We are all sitting in the same boat trying to preserve a piece of history, us by writing music and some others by maintaining museums and other historical documents, so we thought we’d give a helping hand to a colleague in need here.”
Over 40 million people a year listen to Sabaton and the band have one million followers on Facebook.
And their YouTube History channel Sabaton History has over 100,000 subscribers.
On their website the band added: “Heugh Battery was one of two artillery batteries protecting the port that returned fire, and the museum stands there to this day, an important reminder of history.
“It would be a huge shame to see this disappear, and so we are trying to help by donating the proceeds of a new exclusive T-Shirt design to the museum.”
Diane Stephens, manager of the museum, said she was surprised when she learned of Sabaton’s support.
She added: “When I read up on the internet about the lyrics behind their songs I got a better understanding of how important history is to the band.
“We have had some lovely messages on Facebook and emails from fans from Austria and places saying ‘our families were at war one time but we have bought the T-shirt because we want to help you keep history alive’.
“Gestures like that are just brilliant.”
Sabaton have had healthy pre-orders for the T-shirt and are hopeful of helping the museum hit their £5,000 target.
An online fundraising page at www.justgiving.com currently stands at just over £2,500.