Shipyards, factories, two world wars, the local fishing industry, pop music and railways are just a few of the stories featured in a new book released in July 2019 titled “Old Hartlepool and West Hartlepool” by Paul Chrystal and issued by Stenlake Publishing which sells for £20. Paul Chrystal, who has family ties to the town, tells through this illustrated history, memories of both West Hartlepool and Hartlepool as well as visiting Seaton Carew and Stranton. It’s nice to know that some of the old photographs included in this book came from local people such as Owen Corrigan from Blackhall, Anita Tyzack from West View and Bill Henderson from Seaton Carew. Those who followed the local pop music scene in the 60s will, I am sure, enjoy reading about the Queen's Rink Ballroom and seeing The Rock-Avons from the collection of Tony Kindlan and John Hart tells of his time with The Hartbeats.

Both the first and second world wars are featured in the first part of the book with many images of the bombardment. Shopping in Church Street, Stranton, Lynn Street, Whitby Street and Durham Street will bring back memories for many, I am sure, as well as those people who recall the old factories in the towns such as Cerebos and Siemens. Seaton Carew, Crimdon and Greatham are not forgotten either - with happy memories of the picture houses in the town such as The Forum and West End along with pubs, schools and public services. There are almost 100 pages to enjoy and it so nice to see another book about the towns being released. A first class read and many happy memories for all!

I’d like to bring to your attention another book I am involved with and, as the title might suggest “Co.Durham’s Days of Steam” is based in and around County Durham and the near-by counties. The book has already proved popular as it sold out when first published and has been re-printed because of huge demand. However, it so nice to have been involved with it from a photographic point of view. The book, which is published by Stenlake, was written by Paul Chrystal and Stan Laundon, and sells for £10.95p. It is an interesting miscellany of railway photographs such as the coal sheds in Hartlepool, the sidings at Consett Iron Works and coal picking on railway embankments during the 1920s miners strike. As well as the modern photography how nice it was for local people such as Ray Noddings and former Hartlepool resident Alan Grange (who now lives in California) to provide some older images of a derailment near Newburn Bridge in West Hartlepool and the old sheds in Mainsforth Terrace in the town. There are also some rare photographs of the A3 "Flying Scotsman" which was the last steam locomotive to be watered and bunkered in the sheds in Mainsforth Terrace before they finally closed on September 10th, 1967. Restoration of the A4 Pacific “Dominion of Canada” at Locomotion - The National Railway Museum in Shildon is also covered in great detail as well as modern photographs of "Tornado" hauling "Mallard" near Thirsk on their way to Shildon, the D49 "Morayshire" and the dedicated volunteers at the railway museum in Shildon with "Dominion of Canada" fully restored. Being a steam engine buff it was a great pleasure to be involved with this book and I am more than pleased it has been re-printed for many more people to enjoy.

Another recently released book is “Hartlepool Through the Ages” by Paul Chrystal and Stan Laundon and is published by Amberley Books. “Hartlepool Through the Ages” is the sister book to “Hartlepool Through Time” but this time I have provided all of the modern photographs. As the title might suggest, the book  shows Hartlepool then and now, looking at old Hartlepool and West Hartlepool, and some of the outlying villages including Wolviston, Blackhall and Crimdon. The cover shows an old photograph of Church Square with the Binns’ store in the background and a policeman on duty directing traffic into Stockton Street and Victoria Road. The same image has been recreated with me going to the top of the old Christ Church (now the town’s Art Gallery) to look down. The policeman might have disappeared but the view is still the same - albeit in glorious colour.

Several local people provided the older images in this book and it certainly was a challenge to show the area as it is today. From St. Hilda’s Amateur Operatic Society in the 1950s to the Hartlepool Stage Society rehearsing The Wizard of Oz in the Town Hall, views of the carnival in old Hartlepool in 1950s to as it is today. The book covers the docks and ferry, steam engines in Mainsforth Terrace sheds, Throston Bridge, the coal staithes and engine house and the 1914-18 war and the bombardment. There is a section in the book looking at some of the old pubs including the Traveller’s Rest and Nursery Inn together with a modern location shot of Birks’ Station Cafe in Church Street. There are memories of the Tall Ships’ Races in 2010, the Saturday morning picture shows at The Forum (ABC) as well as happy days recalled as people used to play the slot machines and visit the playground rides in Seaton Carew. Dalton Piercy, Elwick, Greatham and Hart are also featured in the book. Great memories for me personally and a pleasure to be involved with my camera. I hope you enjoy it, too! The book is on sale through Amberley Books at £13.49. It's also available through Amazon and Waterstones. People living in Hartlepool can buy the book from W.H.Smith's shop in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.

Hartlepool The Postcard Collection

Another book with a Hartlepool connection is "Hartlepool The Postcard Collection" by Stan Laundon and Paul Chrystal and it can be ordered from Amberley, Amazon and other book stores at various prices but at £13.49 direct from Amberley. Hartlepool's history is steeped in shipbuilding, steel-making and fishing the sea; West Hartlepool and 'old' Hartlepool are the two towns which grew up to foster these industries in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This fascinating book describes and depicts the intriguing story of the two towns and the people who worked the fish quays, shipyards and steel mills, or supported and serviced the workforces in their shops, factories, schools and pubs. If you want a nostalgic and illuminating pictorial history of West Hartlepool and Hartlepool, Seaton, Blackhall and Crimdon, then this does it all for you over ninety-six pages and 200 pictures.

Copyright © Stan