Heugh Gun Battery Museum wins new fans after invite to Wembley concert from Swedish metal band Sabaton
Hartlepool’s historic Heugh Battery Museum gained lots of new fans spreading the word at a sold out rock concert at Wembley Arena.
Museum manager Diane Stephens and husband Andy manned a stand at Saturday’s gig by Swedish heavy metal band Sabaton which last year helped raise over £4,000 for the gun battery site when its future was in doubt.
Diane and Andy highlighted the Headland museum’s national importance as the only First World War battlefield in the UK to the band’s fans of all ages.
Sabaton, who have a passion for military history, contacted the Heugh Battery Museum last year when they were trying to raise enough money to stay open.
They designed a special T-shirt which fans quickly snapped up with proceeds going to the museum.
When they recently told Diane they were playing at Wembley, which was attended by 12,500 people, she cheekily asked if they could have a stall and they agreed.
She said: “They’re such lovely people. We had a banner made to say thanks to the Sabaton fans and encouraged people to chat with us.
“The following that Sabaton have is very wide ranging. We spoke to older people to young kids. A lot of them had never heard of the museum and were really impressed with the way Sabaton had supported us.”
Diane and Andy took information about the site which played a key role in the bombardment of Hartlepool by German warships off the coast on December 16, 1914.
And fans posed for pictures with artefacts including a model of a carrier pigeon.
Diane also got a front seat view of the gig after being presented with access all areas passes and caught up with the band in the green room after the show.
She added: “We were taken right down at the front of the stage during the gig and got to meet Sabaton afterwards to discuss future ways of working with them.
“The band are very keen to come up to Hartlepool and do something with us.
“It really was a pleasant evening and an awesome show.”