A year of positivity - and a Royal visitor - for Hartlepool

The Royal party arrives in town.
The Royal party arrives in town.

A sun-soaked celebration.

That’s how the Queen’s visit was described in 1993 when she came to town to officially launch Hartlepool Marina.

The Queen on her 1993 visit to Hartlepool.

The Queen on her 1993 visit to Hartlepool.

But it turned into quite some event and seemed to put the feelgood factor into Hartlepool that summer.

Simply Magic said the headline.

It certainly was for schoolgirl Emma Metcalf who got to hand a posy to the Queen.

Lily Weatherall, 82, loved it as well because she got to meet Her Majesty.

The Royal visit brought out the people of Hartlepool and brought out the best of the people of Hartlepool

Peter Mandelson

But it was much more besides and, as the Hartlepool Mail put it at the time: “Young and old made it a day to remember for a town trying to forget the last few troubled years.”

It was described as proof that Hartlepool’s renaissance was well on course and MP Peter Mandelson said: “The Royal visit brought out the people of Hartlepool and brought out the best of the people of Hartlepool.”

The Queen and Prince Philip were in town to open the new £165m Marina and they came ashore on a Royal barge. The Queen was to be given a tour of the new complex and tour the Historic Ships Centre while the Duke looked royund HMS Trincomalee.

From there, Her Majesty was due to visit Bramley Court before heading back to the Royal yacht Britannia where she was due to host a reception.

Later that night, the Band of the Royal Marines played and a giant fireworks display lit up the Marina sky.

But the preparations for the Royal arrival had started much earlier.

The night before, a beacon was lit on the Headland to mark the 400th anniversary of a freedom charter being handed over by Queen Elizabeth 1 as well as being a sign of welcome for the Royal guests.

House later, workmen were out from the early hours on the day of the Royal arrival, sweeping up. And the Davis family from Greatham were the first to arrive and managed to book a prime spot to see the Queen.

Hartlepool continued to make the headlines later the same month when Hartlepool-born Andy Linighan starred for Arsenal in the FA Cup final.

He defied a broken finger and a suspected broken nose to score a late goal for the Gunners as they won 2-1 at Wembley in a replay against Sheffield Wednesday.

Extra time looked certain when Linighan rose to head home a winner in the dying seconds of extra time. Team captain Tony Adams said: “He’ll deservedly be a hero now.”

We would love to hear more about Hartlepool in 1993.

Did you get to see the Queen? Perhaps you got to see the giant firework display or got to see Britannia.

Get in touch and tell us more. Email chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk