Hartlepool bombardment museum exhibits receive urgent restoration thanks to £70,000 Covid recovery grant
Exhibits at Hartlepool’s gun battery museum are getting some much-needed attention so they are looking their best for when visitors return.
The Heugh Battery Museum on the Headland, which tells the story of the Bombardment of Hartlepool in 1914, was awarded £71,573 from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund in October.
A large part of the money is being used to carry out urgent restoration work to a number of its military vehicles and artillery collection by Middlesbrough engineering business Group Industrial UK.
Museum manager Diane Stephens said: “The items were very rusty and it was damaging the vehicles and artillery pieces.
"They are blasting and hand taking the rust off and painting the guns and our tank.
"We’re trying to get the best out of the funding that we can.”
Seven Group Industrial UK workers have been on site for around two weeks and are being aided by a number of the museum’s volunteers.
Vehicles being given a facelift include an impressive 1967 Chieftain tank, Ferret scout car, Saracen armoured car and rapier missile system.
The museum has been closed since the first lockdown in March last year.
But it hopes to reopen in August on completion of the restoration work.
Diane added: “It will make a massive difference. Because the museum has been closed for so long it will really help visitors to understand the reasons why when they come back.”
The work is a new venture for Group Industrial UK.
Managing director Michael Marsh said: “It’s been a different type of experience for our company but there is a lot more satisfaction from it.
"It’s a good cause and we’re quite proud to be involved with it. I think it’s going to look really good when it’s completed, especially with everything that’s going on around the regeneration of the Headland.”
Although the museum is still closed, its outdoor cafe is open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10am until 4pm.
And this weekend it is hosting a free micro pop up exhibition of clippy mats by Olwyn Hart from Friday to Monday during the cafe opening hours.