A new association for a branch of the army has been launched in Hartlepool following a successful appeal.
The Hartlepool branch of the Royal Engineers Association has been formed to help ex and serving members of the regiment keep in touch.
Around 30 members have signed up following an appeal earlier this year.
And they surpassed their target of 20 initial members to take the project forward.
Branch secretary Terry Shaw said: “In February we put out an appeal for members and that went really well.
“We had interest from as far away up north as Sunderland and down south as Saltburn and also inland from Bishop Auckland and Spennymoor.
“We are the only one in the Tees Valley. The nearest other branch is Newcastle or Ripon.”
They meet on the last Tuesday of the month at Hartlepool Army Reserve Centre, in Easington Road.
Terry added: “At the moment we are about 25 to 30 members strong. We are all former serving Royal Engineers, known as Sappers.
“The central purpose of the association follows our motto Service Not Self.
“We help former Sappers to meet up with old mates and also with benevolence if required through the national Royal Engineers Association.
“We are for anybody who served in the Corps who lives between Sunderland and the Saltburn area, so we cover quite a large geographical area.”
There are over 100 branches of the association all over the country as well as overseas.
Its aims are to foster the spirit of comradeship and service by maintaining an awareness of Corps’ traditions, act as a link between serving and retired members of the Corps and to provide financial and other assistance to serving and former members and their dependents.
Terry added: “It doesn’t matter whether you served as a reservist or as a regular, they are welcome.”
For more details about the new Hartlepool branch, contact Terry by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07518 385000.