Scorching memories of Hartlepool’s sunny events

Can you identify the people in this 1986 Greatham Feast photograph.
Can you identify the people in this 1986 Greatham Feast photograph.

We’re certainly noticing the summer sun this week.

And that brings back memories of some of Hartlepool’s favourite seasonal activities including two of the biggest draws in the annual calendar.

Kevin Blunt, pictured winning the Nutty Slack Derby in 1977.

Kevin Blunt, pictured winning the Nutty Slack Derby in 1977.

Greatham Feast returns tomorrow and is now more than 550 years old.

It brings together people for events including five-a-side football, the baby show, the pensioners afternoon tea, and the yard of ale competition.

But what are your highlights of the event down the years, and do you recognise any of these people in our archive photographs?

One shows lots of village children in 1986. Each year, there is a service at the parish church of St John the Baptist and the children are pictured outside the church.

Another aspect of the event each year is the choosing of the Queen of the Feast.

But which part do you love best and can you identify the children in this photograph?

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Another great annual event is the Headland Carnival, which is held in August. We look back to 1978 and some of the attractions that year.

The big annual draw is the parade, which always attracts huge crowds to watch the fancy dress floats go by.

The Grand Parade that year followed a route from Victoria Place, along Southgate, Northgate and Durham Street to the finish at Friar Terrace.

Among those joining in were six jazz bands including the West View and Headland Juveniles, as well as the carnival queen and a healthy number of decorated bicycles.

But back in 1978, there were lots of other attractions too such as the nutty slack race – known as the Nutty Slack Derby – where strongmen would carry a hundredweight sack of coal on their back from the Bridge Hotel to St Hilda’s Hospital.

Do you remember it and did you take part?

Here’s a photograph of Kevin Blunt from West Park, pictured heading for the finishing line with St Hilda’s Hospital in the background in the 1977 event.

Our report of the 1978 event said: “The competitors have to carry the sack to St Hilda’s Hospital where they can get assistance they might well be needing!”

But the race was by far from being the only attraction.

There was the jazz band championships, the carnival ball, the choosing of the carnival queen, and the Town Moor Fair where the rides that year included the Giant Octopus, Meteorite, and the Flying Coaster.

We would love your memories of the Feast and the Headland Carnival down the years.

To get in touch with your recollections, email and tell us more.