Beamish – The living Museum of the North

17 Apr

Last weekend Beamish had a few events on around their amazing museum including the Great North Steam fair. As well as having lots of steam powers vehicles there, they’d also arranged to have several other vehicles on site to fit in with each of the time periods – which is why I visited. My Dad has restored many historical commercial vehicles in his time and the most recently completed one is a 1919 Albion Pratts Spirit, oil & petrol lorry, which he was invited to bring along to their event. So a perfect opportunity to re-visit possibly my favourite Museum, see my parents and have the rare opportunity to see my Dad’s restored lorry in context.

My Dad doing a few last minute checks before the lorry went for a trip around the Museum

My Dad doing a few last minute checks before the lorry went for a trip around the Museum

Beamish is a great Museum, although I find it a little hard to call it a museum, it’s more of an experience. The word Museum conjure up images of roped off areas, do not touch signs and items in glass cabinets – this is far from what Beamish is. Beamish tells the story of everyday life in the North east of England through the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian periods. There are very few plaques of explanation for what everything is, instead there are workers & volunteers in full period dress who you can ask any questions to, they’re friendly & knowledgeable and a credit to the museum.

Volunteers on their way to work around the museum on authentic bicycles

Volunteers on their way to work around the museum on authentic bicycles

I can’t recommend Beamish enough; it is well worth a visit. I have now been 3 times in my life, one when I was very young, I remembered it being an exciting experience even is a child. When I returned 10-15 years later I wondered whether it could possible live up to my childhood memories of the place & I was pleasantly surprised & relieved that it surpassed my expectations! Having returned again last week end only 18moths after my last visit, it was great to see that the different areas are still being developed and it was still just as enjoyable, we fully intend to use our tickets (valid for a year) to visit again possible at Christmas when maybe the bakery that is currently being built will be complete…I can’t wait!

Here are several photos to hopefully illustrate why Beamish I think Beamish is so great & we didn’t even get around all the different areas.

Old trams take you around the museum, complete with old posters & signs inside

Old trams take you around the museum, complete with old posters & signs inside

Great attention to detail in the Beamish train station office

Great attention to detail in the Beamish train station office

My Dad's lorry about to set off around Beamish

My Dad’s lorry about to set off around Beamish

My Dad's lorry parked up outside the towns Edwardian garage building - the street had a great feel about it with apropriate vehicles & people.

My Dad’s lorry parked up outside the towns Edwardian garage building – the street had a great feel about it with appropriate vehicles & people.

Inside the towns garage with period bits n bobs

Inside the town’s garage with period petrol cans

Great old metal advertising boards.

Great old metal advertising boards.

Weather vane at waggon way - great detail

Weather vane at waggon way – great detail

 

Cosy kitchen range in the home farm

Cosy kitchen range in the home farm

Great homemade textiles in use in everywhere, like this hand sewn patchwork quilt.

Great homemade textiles in use everywhere, like this hand sewn patchwork quilt.

Singer sewing machine in the home farm house

Singer sewing machine in the home farm house

Beamish has a working farm, there were sweet new born lambs in the farm sheds and slightly older lambs with their mums outside.

Beamish has a working farm, there were sweet new born lambs in the farm sheds and slightly older lambs with their mums outside.

Handmade rag rug spread on one of the pit village cottage beds

Handmade rag rug spread on one of the pit village cottage beds

Yarn winder and more homecrafts in the pit village cottages

Yarn winder and more homecrafts in the pit village cottages

The pit village resident, Tilly the lovely moggy - she knows how to live!

The pit village resident, Tilly the lovely moggy – she knows how to live!

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