Tommy 2 Tommy walk raises £23,000 for Heugh Battery Museum
The future of Hartlepool’s Heugh gun battery is looking great after sponsored walkers raised an incredible £23,000 for the museum.
Around 200 people of all ages came together to take part in a 16-mile Tommy 2 Tommy walk, organised by supporters of the historic museum, in May.
All sponsorship money has now come in and amounts to £23,414 and 59p.
The walk from the Tommy statue in Seaham to the Tommy silohuette figure at the battery site on the Headland was the brainchild of local supporters including taxi driver Stephen Picton, Councillor Dave Hunter and Ian Cawley.
It was also supported by numerous businesses and Hartlepool Borough Council.
A large cheque for the final amount was presented to battery museum manager Diane Stepens on Monday, July 15.
Councillor Hunter said: “It shows what can happen when people come together to do something good.
“The response from the walkers and businesses to all come together to make this happen and the enthusiasm of Diane and the battery team produced an outstanding result.
“We will do whatever we have to as a town to make sure this place stays open because it’s unique and has to be appreciated.”
The museum initially set a £5,000 target to save it from closure. Its drive was backed by the Mail’s Battery Charge awareness campaign.
Diane said the walk money, together with thousands raised from other events and supporters, will help to restore its collection which has been neglected in recent years due to lack of funds.
She added: “The walkers have raised beyond what we ever imagined. We are so grateful to everybody who took part, it was a phenomenal day.
“It all goes to make sure the battery can pay its bills and do the day to day things to stay open. However, it also means we can start applying for money to do work and improve the visitor experience.”
Museum worker Rebecca Hodgson, 25, who joined in the walk, said: “It was well organised and I really enjoyed it.
“The sense of camaraderie was brilliant and it got a lot more people interested in the museum.”