Hartlepool council chief wants your ideas for landmark boat's future

A council chief is asking residents for their ideas for what should happen to a piece of Hartlepool's maritime heritage.
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Hartlepool Borough Council leader Shane Moore is looking for suggestions for the future use of the 1934 paddle steamer PSS Wingfield Castle which has been standing idle in Jackson Dock for over a year.

She is about to undergo a long-overdue restoration to her hull later this year.

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Councillor Moore said it is the ideal opportunity to look at what will happen to her afterwards and put out an appeal for ideas on social media.

PSS Wingfield Castle.PSS Wingfield Castle.
PSS Wingfield Castle.

Cllr Moore said: “Next week I will be meeting with a number of other parties that are going to be involved in the plans for the Wingfield Castle's future.

"And in the autumn she is going to switch places with HMS Trincomalee and go in dry dock for the start of work on the hull.

"It is alright us spending money to restore it but we don’t want her to be nice again and sit there collecting dust.

"We want her to have a vibrant and much used future.”

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Councillor Shane Moore, Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council.Councillor Shane Moore, Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council.
Councillor Shane Moore, Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council.

Hartlepool Borough Council earmarked ‘substantial’ funding for the Wingfield Castle’s restoration earlier this year after concerns about her deterioration while being closed to the public.

Cllr Moore added: “We could come up with what we think but there might be numerous people out there who have some really good ideas.

"It’s about tapping into the wider public to see exactly what they think.

"Ultimately, it's one of their assets so we want them to have a say in her future.”

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Suggestions so far include a wedding venue, cafe and space for live arts events.

But Cllr Moore said she cannot leave the dock as she will not fit through the marina's lockgates.

Her illustrious history includes having a starring role in the 1980 film The Elephant Man.

And in 2017, she was used in the filming of the hit ITV drama Victoria.

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She became Hartlepool museum collection's largest exhibit in 1986. Cllr Moore is also asking for suggestions as to what her final paint scheme should be.

Comment at Cllr Shane Moore - Headland & Harbour Ward on Facebook or email: [email protected]

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