Children rush to try out Hartlepool navy museum's new play area

Pint-sized pirates and small sailors rushed to try out a new play area at Hartlepool’s National Museum of the Royal Navy – and gave it a big thumbs-up.

By Mark Payne
Saturday, 03 August, 2019, 08:00

The new feature in the shape of a ship was officially opened at the town’s main tourist attraction on Friday and youngsters could not wait to climb aboard.

It includes rope ladders, look-out posts, decks, hammocks, swings and slides which are proving particularly popular.

Younger visitors from two years old have their own mini ship and other new pieces of play equipment include a sea spinner bowl, sea raft see-saw and carousel with safety bars, which can be enjoyed by children in wheelchairs and disabled users.

Roslyn Adamson, general manager at NMRN Hartlepool, told visitors: “We are committed as a national museum to developing the site and we are doing so as a priority with Hartlepool Borough Council.

“While we think about the longer term development we have also thought about our family offer which is why we brought forward this playground.

“The idea is to give you reason to come back and visit time and again over the years while we plan the bigger project.”

She thanked funders including the Tees Valley Combined Authority, the Sir James Knott Trust, Catherine Cookson Trust, Red Gap Wind Farm Ltd, and also Hartlepool Borough Council for their ongoing support.

Regional Royal Navy Commander Commodore Phil Waterhouse, ADC RN, with Alice Creevy (4) and Evan Close (6) both from Hartlepool. Picture Ian McClelland.

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It was officially opened by the Regional Royal Navy Commander, Commodore Phil Waterhouse.

He said: “You have only got to look at how the children are playing on it to see how much they like it.”

Six-year-old Evan Close, from Hartlepool, who helped cut a cake for the opening, said he liked the ship’s slides best.

Rachel Creevy, who took her daughter Alice, aged four, said: “It’s lovely. We were involved in the consultation so it’s nice to see the end product.”

Families and children try the new play area at the National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool.

Julie Simons, from Hartlepool, who was there with her children Henry Simons, 10, and 18-month-old Fearne Middleton, said: “I think it’s great. My eldest son loves the slide at the front because it’s very fast.”

Back left to right: Killian Gouaghan, Red Gap Wind Farm; Cllr Christopher Akers-Belcher, Chair of Regeneration, Hartlepool Borough Council; Linda Tuttiett, Head of Culture and Tourism, Tees Valley Combined Authority; Cllr Shane Moore, Tees Valley Combined Authority Cabinet Lead for Culture & Tourism and Hartlepool Borough Council Leader. Front row left to right: Hilary Thompson, Red Gap Community Fund; Regional Royal Navy Commander Commodore Phil Waterhouse, ADC RN; Roslyn Adamson, General Manager, NMRN Hartlepool; Julie McCarthy, Strategic Investment Planning Manager, Tees Valley Combined Authority.
Henry Simons age 10 and Beau Thorpe age 7 from Hartlepool enjoy the slide at the new play area opened today at the National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool. Picture Ian McClelland.
Regional Royal Navy Commodore Phil Waterhouse is surrounded by children eager to try the new play ship after cutting the ribbon to officially opening the new facility at Hartlepool. Picture Ian McClelland.