Heugh Battery Museum manager signs up for Simply Health Great North Run to raise cash for cause

The manager of Hartlepool’s Heugh Battery Museum will do her bit to help save the historic site’s future by taking part in next weekend’s Simply Health Great North Run.

Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, 4:31 pm

After watching the event on TV for two decades, Diane Stephens has been inspired to pull on her running shoes after all the fantastic fundraising efforts of supporters who have raised thousands of pounds for the museum on the Headland.

The UK’s only First World War battlefield site, which saw action during the devastating bombardment of Hartlepool on December 16 in 1914, was in danger of closing earlier this year before a successful campaign which included around 200 people take part in a 16-mile sponsored Tommy to Tommy walk in May that raised over £20,000.

It was organised by local supporters including taxi driver Stephen Picton, Councillor Dave Hunter and Ian Cawley of Burbank Community Centre.

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Diane Stephens with her Great North Run running shoes.  Picture by Frank Reid
Diane Stephens with her Great North Run running shoes. Picture by Frank Reid

On Sunday, September 8, Diane will do her bit when she lines up for the famous half marathon from Newcastle to South Shields.

She said: “I’m from South Shields so have watched it for over 20 years since its inception and had been thinking ‘I need to do that one day’.

“I thought all those lovely people walked 16 miles and raised all that money that I should really make some effort myself.

“I’m not the fittest person in the world so I’m calling it my Great North Run attempt, as if I get to the finish I will be very happy!”

Diane applied to take part in January when the future of the museum was a lot less certain.

“I saw it as one of those last ditch things to try to keep the museum open,” she said.

“Everything else just took off after that.”

Diane will run wearing a T-shirt designed by Swedish metal band Sabaton, sales of which raised over £4,000 for the museum campaign.

The band, who have a huge following, decided to help as they share a passion with history after the museum’s plight was brought to their attention.

The Mail supported the efforts with our Battery Charge awareness campaign.

Supporters can sponsor Diane at the Heugh Battery Museum Appeal page on justgiving.com.