What a weekend!
Saturday to Tuesday.
Four days when Hartlepool revealed its beautiful face to the world.
The Tall Ships began slipping into the town as early as Thursday. A Spanish yacht called Hansa from Galicia, with whose crew I shared a few tapas and a beer.
The larger ones arrived between Thursday evening and Saturday lunchtime.
A huge tide of visitors descended on the Marina at around 11am on Saturday and kept on rolling past the berthed ships. The weather was clement to the point of being warm.
Sunday, Monday and Tuesday brought even more visitors laden with cameras and zoom lenses.
All our staff worked very hard and long hours over the four days to cater for twice or three times our usual number of diners.
I enjoyed selling coffee, tea and Sangria outside Casa del Mar. It gave me the opportunity to do some "market research" by asking people where they came from, whether they liked Hartlepool and if they would come back again.
They were unanimous in their praise for our town. Most had never been here and were totally delighted with the facilities and the organization. Those who were re-visiting were pleased with the changes that had occurred over the last twenty years.
The regional visitors promised to come back very soon.
I was so busy that I did not manage to get my camera out so here is a Flickr Group set up to showcase the weekend.
What a weekend!
The Tall Ships have begun arriving. Hartlepool is buzzing and we are getting busier by the minute.
What the visitors will discover or rediscover is a town proud of its maritime and historical heritage.
The Marina has led to its regeneration, and despite the recession, is attracting more and more visitors every year.
The Headland with its iconic St. Hilda's church is the real Hartlepool according to its residents. Many towns would dream of having a historical part as beautiful as the Headland.