Heugh Battery Museum boss meets Swedish band that helped save historic site

The manager of Hartlepool’s Heugh Battery Museum has personally thanked a Swedish heavy metal band after they raised more than £4,000 to help keep its doors open.

Diane Stephens travelled to London where she spoke to members of band Sabaton who sold a special T-shirt in aid of the battery’s fundraising campaign.

Heugh Battery Museum manager Diane Stephens with members of band  Sabaton who raised over �4,000 for the museum.

Heugh Battery Museum manager Diane Stephens with members of band Sabaton who raised over �4,000 for the museum.

Fans quickly snapped up the T-shirts raising £4,220 which took the Headland museum over its £5,000 target.

Diane told bass player Pär Sundström: “It will really help make a significant difference to the museum.

“It means we can have a little buffer between us and our bills for next year and make sure that our visitors get an even better experience when they come because we can start looking at different interpretation methods on the site, so it means the absolute world to us.”

Diane added she hopes Sabaton fans will visit the museum which is the only World War One battlefield in the UK having defended Hartlepool during the bombardment of the town in December 1914.

Heugh Gun Battery manager Diane Stephens

Heugh Gun Battery manager Diane Stephens

Those who wear their T-shirts will have their pictures displayed in a dedicated corner in the museum cafe.

Diane added: “The fans have been brilliant. We have had so many messages from all over the world.

“We are really hoping that a lot of people are going to turn up in Sabaton T-shirts.”

During the meeting, Diane also got to find out why the Swedish band decided to help a small museum in Hartlepool.

The T-shirt made by band Sabaton to help he Heugh Battery Museum.

The T-shirt made by band Sabaton to help he Heugh Battery Museum.

Pär said the campaign was brought to their attention by a member of their UK team due to the band’s love of history which they incorporate into their song lyrics.

He said: “We were like we might be able to help here because it would be a shame to see this disappear.”

He added they were attracted by the historical significance of the battery site and its uniqueness.

Pär said: “Also it’s not state-run, it’s voluntary work. These things speak to us.

“To be able to preserve a little bit of history felt a good idea to us.”

The Mail supported the museum’s fundraising appeal through our Battery Charge campaign.

The museum has a variety of upcoming events including a Living History Weekend on June 8 and 9 when history groups take visitors back in time from the Napoleonic period to World War Two with displays of uniforms and kit.