Students create history street as they explore haunted Hartlepool

Student Greg putting the finishing touches to the Hartlepool 'street'
Student Greg putting the finishing touches to the Hartlepool 'street'

Art and design students have unveiled a spooky project inspired by Hartlepool’s haunted history.

Second-year students from Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD) designed and built a full-scale studio set of a street to mark Hartlepool’s historic past as a shipping port and commercial centre.

Student Molly putting the finishing touches to the Hartlepool 'street'

Student Molly putting the finishing touches to the Hartlepool 'street'

Production Design for Stage and Screen students officially opened the project - The Haunted Histories of Hartlepool - yesterday at the college’s Production Design Studios in Church Square in Hartlepool along with BBC production designer and art director, Tina Sherifa Hicks.

Students were given a brief to build a street set for a fictional TV drama series - as a production design team would be expected to do in the industry.

The students researched the Victorian buildings around the town, especially the Headland, and used the information to create the fantasy world.

First-year PDSS students were also involved by designing and building props to decorate the street and shop windows.

From their initial concept sketches and illustrations the students produced technical drawings and models, leading to the development of full-size buildings, props, street furniture and scenic painting.

Second-year student Molly Watson, 19, from Hartlepool, said: “My building is almost like a junk shop where the ghosts have taken the best bits from buildings around Hartlepool, putting them together to give the shop a ‘run down’ feel,” she said.

“It also has the style of a tent, with the roof being made into a sail, almost like a modern-day pop up shop.”

She added: “To make a full size set is not something you get to do very often and it gives you a much better experience of what it would be like to create something that would be used in the industry for filming, so we can’t wait to see the street finished and officially opened at the end of the month.”

Tina, a former CCAD student who has worked on major projects including BBC’s Waterloo Road, visited the college before the opening to meet students and provide a workshop.

Norman Austick, lecturer in production design at CCAD, said: said: “This exhibition piece shows the development of some exciting team work and dedication by students and the specialist staff here at CCAD.

“For the students this has created a real world experience and it is the first chance they have had to put their collective skills into practice.

“The excellence demonstrated in this exhibition has been nurtured here at CCAD and has helped to develop the employable practical skills we know that the TV and film industry are crying out for.”

The exhibition is now open on weekdays from 10am to 4pm until April 24.