Special overture to feature in bombardment memorial concert

St Hilda's Church
St Hilda's Church

A specially commissioned piece of music inspired by the Bombardment of Hartlepool is to feature in an upcoming concert.

St Hilda’s Church on the Headland will play host to a visit by Fishburn Brass Band for the Hartlepool Headland Bombardment Memorial Concert.

A Headland Overture commissioned by the band for a separate project will be played during the concert on Saturday, April 21.

The band said: “We hope to remind our audience of the hard time endured by the Hartlepool families affected by this attack.

“We have a new commission, ‘Headland Overture’ that accurately portrays the atmosphere of that fateful morning.”

It was written for the band but never used as part of a Durham Hymns, a First World War commemorative project delivered by The Northern Regional Brass Band Trust in partnership with Durham County Council.

Malcolm Usher, of Fishburn Brass Band, said: “It is a really good piece of music. I thought we really need to use this so we are putting on this concert for the bombardment.”

Percussion instruments portray the random shelling of the Hartlepools while a hymn serves as a lament for Private Theo Jones, of the DLI, who was the first British soldier to be killed by enemy fire, on mainland Britain in the First World War.

The overture concludes with a march.

It will be the first time that the 30-piece band has played in St Hilda’s Church, a grade one listed building.

Malcolm added: “Churches always lend themselves to acoustic music and it St Hilda’s is a lovely church.

“Everybody is looking forward to it. I live in Hartlepool and spent my musical career there, and there is also four or five members in the band who belong in Hartlepool.

“We have sold quite a few tickets and are hoping for a good turnout on the night.”

The concert will also feature music from Disney films and other well known tunes.

There was 130 people killed and hundreds injured during the German shelling of the town on December 16, 1914.

Artefacts from the Heugh Battery Museum, which played a key role in defending the town during the bombardment, will be on display prior to the concert.

Doors open at 5.30pm and the concert begins at 7pm.

Tickets are £6 for adults, £3 for children and £5 for concessions.

They are available from St Hilda’s Church, Church Walk; the Heugh Battery Museum, and the Cornerstone Cafe in St George’s Church on Park Road.

People can also pay on the door.