Hardy Hartlepool fundraisers' 16-mile Tommy 2 Tommy walk for military museum
Scores of hardy fundraisers put their best feet forward to raise money for a Hartlepool museum.
Around 200 people took part in the Tommy 2 Tommy sponsored walk from the Tommy statue in Seaham to the Heugh Battery Museum’s Tommy silhouette in support of the museum.
A fundraising drive was launched to save the Headland museum, backed by the Hartlepool Mail, and donations poured in with it smashing its £5,000 target.
And, the weekend trek, which included 130 people representing each person who was killed in the Bombardment of Hartlepool on December 16, 1914, will add at least another £10,000 to that total.
Different generations of families took part in the walk, as well as people of all ages.
Stephen Picton, one of the organisers of the 16-mile walk, said he was overwhelmed by the support they had.
He said: “It was fantastic. When you have an idea to do something like this and people really get behind it, it is great.”
MP for Hartlepool, Mike Hill, was among those who took on the gruelling coastal walk.
He said: “It was an ardous event, but it was great, we were all in it together.
“It has really shown the true spirit of the people of Hartlepool.
Sign up to our daily newsletter
“The Heugh Battery Museum is a real jewel in the crown of Hartlepool.”
Diane Stephens, manager of the much-loved museum, said she can’t believe how much the people of the town - and much further afield - have dug deep to save the Heugh Battery and the dedication shown by the walkers and the hundreds of people who turned out to support them and take part in activities at the museum.
She said: “The effort that has been put into this has just been absolutely amazing.”
Diane said she always knew the museum was important to the town, but this has shown what a big place it holds in people’s hearts.
The museum on the site of Hartlepool’s Heugh Gun Battery which defended the town for 100 years including in the bombardment of the town in 1914, was facing possible closure if it could not raise the money by the end of this month.
The museum, which is run mainly by volunteers, is the only World War One battlefield site in the UK.
Anyone who wishes to donate can do so on the Heugh Battery Museum Appeal page at www.justgiving.com.