Hartlepool’s Heugh Battery Museum gets boost from BAE Systems

Hartlepool’s historic Heugh Battery Museum is celebrating a new partnership with a major North East business.

By Mark Payne
Saturday, 01 June, 2019, 12:15

The First World War museum, which has been the focus of a successful campaign to save it from closure, has fittingly teamed up with BAE Systems’ Land UK business in Washington who provide products and engineering support for the British Army.

In addition to giving the museum, in Moor Terrace on the Headland, £1,000, a team of apprentices from the company’s manufacturing site will support the museum in the lead up to Armed Forces Day on June 29 by renovating and maintaining some of the exhibits.

Heugh Battery Museum manager Diane Stephens and BAE Systems, Washington Operation manager Les Cooper alongside on of the military vehicles that is in need of repair Pictures by Frank Reid.

The museum’s exhibits include products developed by BAE Systems’ heritage companies which have been used throughout history, including a 4.5 inch naval and anti-aircraft gun, Saracen armoured personnel carrier, Vickers machine guns and the Chieftain Main Battle Tank.

BAE Systems decided to help the Heugh Battery Museum after reading about their campaign in the Mail.

Washington site manager Les Cooper, who lives in Hartlepool, said: “Commemorating the heritage of our Armed Forces and of the company is one of the core areas of community support we offer.

“This is a particularly relevant and special partnership to us given our history with the products on show, and we’re proud that our talented and capable apprentices will be supporting the museum during Armed Forces Week so future generations can appreciate the exhibits.”

Heugh Gun Battery manager Diane Stephens is presented with a cheque for £1000 by BAE Washington Operation manager Les Cooper (left) and Joshua Grant operation apprentice.

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He added: “It’s important to us and is about putting something back into the community and the apprentices enjoy doing it.”

Operations Apprentice Joshua Grant will lead a team of around 10 apprentices who will first get to work on refurbishing the Saracen personnel carrier so visitors can examine and sit inside it.

Museum manager Diane Stephens said: “The Heugh Battery Museum preserves the only First World War battlefield in the UK and commemorates the bombardment of Hartlepool in December 1914.

“This is such an important site with local, national and international significance, and we’re thankful to businesses like BAE Systems who are committed to supporting the communities they work in.”

Joshua Grant operation apprentice at BAE Systems Washington inspecting one of the former military vehicles that is in need of repair at the Heugh Gun Battery.

BAE Systems apprentices at the Washington site have a history of supporting community initiatives.

Two years ago 50 volunteers built an outdoor sensory play area for Sunderland-based charity Grace House which provides respite care for children with life-limiting disabilities in the North East.