Hartlepool in old picture postcards

Hartlepool in old picture postcards

:   J.O. Mennear
:   Cleveland
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-3228-2
:   144
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Hartlepool in old picture postcards'

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The postcards and photographs in this book show images of Hartlepooi which were taken between 1880 and 1930.

The old town of Hartlepooi was situated on a prornontory of magnesian limestone off the Durham coastline. It is a town of great antiquity, having physical remains of the ear1y medieval period and archaeological evidence of settlement in both Romano British and Saxon times. During the medieval period the town was the main port for the Prince Bishops of Durham.

The economie base of the town declined after the Reformation and the closing of the Franciscan Friary in the 16th century until during the 17th and 18th centuries it became no more than a large fishing village of less than 1,000 souls with its harbour unable to accommodate anything larger than fishing cobles. In the late 1700s Hartlepooi and the neighbouring village of Seaton Carew vied with each other for the summer resort trade brought by the Quaker business and professional families of Stockton and Darlington.

Economie revival was dramatic. The coming of the railways enabled new coastal sites to be considered

for the export of coal as the established port of Stockton was too far upstream for the convenience of sailing vessels. The time was ripe for a new port to serve the coalfields of south and south-east Durham. In 1832 the newly-formed Hartlepooi Doek and Railway Co. obtainedpowers to construct a railway from the colliery dis tri cts to the old harbour of Hartlepool. The railway opened in 1835 and by 1841 this one railway was carrying more coal than any other in north-east England and accounted for 27% of the eoal exports from ports in the north-east, Hartlepooi was never to be the same again. The population increased from ju st over a thousand in 1831 to 5,246 in 1841. This development did not go unnoticed and soon stimulated competition. The railway to Stockton from the coalfields of sou th-west Durham was in danger of Iosing trade to the Hartlepooi Railway. Therefore an extension was proposed and built from Stockton to Hartlepool, thus diverting more coal exports from the Tees to Hartlepcol. Intense rivalry, and regular disputes over port dues and wayleave prompted the owners of the Stockton and Hartlepooi Railway to plan a shipping dock of their own. This

opened in 1847 as the West Doek, and within ten years the Victorian New Town of West Hartlepool was bom, soon to overtake in size and importance the old Borough of Hartlepool.

Development in both 'towns' at this period was fast and furious with hap hazard building developments, new industries and much speculative and uncontrolled growth. By the l860s some semblance of order was attained and by the l880s - the beginning of the period with which this book is mostly concerned - a certain sense of maturity had developed. The latter half of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century saw unprecedented growth in industrial output and the loc al economy. On no fewer than six occasions, William Gray & Co., the major shipyard, won the Blue Riband for the greatest tonnage of shipping launched. In 1888 over 248 vessels were registered in the Hartlepcols - all owned by local companies. The development of the doek and harbour facilities encouraged the fishing industry and the fishing community added much to the local scene. The arrival of the Scottish herring fleet was a major event.

The First World War was something of a hiatus in the fortunes of the towns. The Hartlepools also suffered in other ways, the most memorable being the bombardment of Hartlepool by the German Fleet on 16th December, 1914, which caused much damage and loss of life. The shipping industry never recovered from the blow of so much tonnage being lost to enemy action, in the war years.

The lean years of the 1920s ensured that not only did ship-owning contract, but two major shipyards closed, The Great Fire of 1922 was a disaster of significant proportions, with many properties destroyed due to the intensity of the heat from the burning timber stockyards. On the other hand the community spirit was particularly strong and most entertainment was self-generated, the Hartlepool Carnival of 1924 being a good example.

Present day Hartlepool has developed into an urban settlement conveniently considered in three areas 'old' HartlepooI, the former West HartlepooI and 8eaton Carew. The order of the photographs follows this geographie division.

1. High Street, Hartiepooi, with the dominating tower of St. Hilda's Church about 1880. The pantileroofed, roughhewn, limestone cottages are typical examples of the vernacu1ar building style common in old Hartlepooi at this time, but sadly few remain. The house at the far end of the terra ce was the birthplace of Sir Cuthbert Sharp, the well-known local historian and author of the 'History of Hartlepool', first printed in 1816. The High Street pump is seen here in working order complete with water trough for thirsty horses.

2. St. Hitda's Church, first established around 1190 A.D., has been described as the finest parish church in the North of England. Various attempts to restore the Church in 1724, 1865 and 1897 were, in reality, just urgent measures to save the building from collapse. lt was not until1916 that Mr. W.D. Caroe, M.A., Consulting Architect to the Church Commissioners, prepared an elaborate and complete restoration scherne. This was adopted by the parishioners and work began in 1925 at a cost of 132,000. This involved the complete rebuilding of the Chancel on the uncovered original foundations and full restoration of the tower. The timber bratticing supporting the south-east flying buttress, was removed - it has been a necessary feature for so long that it appears on severa119th century prints of the Church. The old Vollum entrance porch seen above dating from the 1830s was replaced, and work was comp1eted by 1932.

JHgh Btreet. .Ha

3. High Street, Hartlepool, one of the oldest streets on the Headland, has its origins in the medieval town. lts width accommodated a street market in times past. Originally High Street extended from the bottom end of Southgate up to the gates of St. Hilda's Church, but now the name refers only to the upper portion. Only the Church, the Duke of Cleveland's house on the top right and the pump survive, The majority of the property was demolished when the Croft was razed to the ground.


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4. Harbour Entrance, Hartlepooi, 1900, showing the three storey terrace on the Town Wall with Coal Exchange beyend on the Pier Head. The masts and funnel of a vessel being fitted out at the Furness Withy Quay can just be seen above the lifeboat house on the left bank of the harbour entrance. The Middleton ferry landing stage with its rounded canopy appears between the lifeboat house and the snipyard buildings. Many of the shipping and colliery cornpanies had their offices overlooking the Town Wall.

5. Pilot coble 23H sailing out of the harbour towards the NER steam paddle tug 'Blanche'. The ferry from Hartlepooi to Middleton has just landed workmen on their way to the Engine Works or the shipyards, whilst small boys gather around - perhaps for the joumey back. The photograph taken from the lifeboat house shows the old ferry which was operated by local retired fishermen under licence from the Hartlepooi Corporation.

6. An aerial view of the pier head with the Coal Exchange in the foreground and the new ferry landing stage on the harbour channel. The town is shrouded in coal smoke from domestic fires, the tower of St. Hilda's Church and the spire of St. Mary's rising above it. The gable end of a house on the Town Wall proudly advertises Nestl├ęs Milk and Oxo Cubes, on the left of the view the Victoria Doek can be seen.

7. The Town Wall, Hartlepool, at high tide showing the rival ferry services across the Middleton Channel. The Commissioners' Ferry was established in 1854 and ran a1most east to west between f1ights of iron steps with shelter houses at the top while the OId Ferry was more north-east to south-east with less elaborate landing arrangements. The two routes crossed in mid channel and operated simultaneously until the 1950s. The ferry was an essential method of carrying hundreds of workmen daily between Hartlepool and the shipyards and Engine Works in Middleton. The Town Wall properties were cleared and redeveloped in the late 1940s with semi-detached council housing.

BI~()"'" E"E "110.'" OF TIIE IOOR, II.~TI.EI'OOL.

8. A bird's-eye view of the Town Moor and Heugh Battery, Hartlepooi, 1894. The site was controlled by the War Office but was not active as a gun battery at this time, the installation of the guns and their hour of glory was yet to come. Beyend the Battery enclosure, complete with its vegetable patch, can be seen the bandstand, the windswept Town Moor and, on the left, the walled Friary field.

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