Beamish Outdoor Museum ~ Feb 2023

Sophie and I go to Beamish most years, and we went this year to see how the new section of ‘1950’s Town’ is coming along, but of course we photographed other bits too on our way around the place.

A little History Bit ☕️ 🍪

Beamish is a world famous open air museum which brings the history of North East England to life at its 1820s Pockerley, 1900s Town, 1900s Pit Village, 1940s Farm, 1950s Town and 1950s Spain’s Field Farm exhibit areas.

Beamish was the vision of Dr Frank Atkinson, the Museum’s founder and first director.Frank had visited Scandinavian folk museums in the early 1950s and was inspired to create an open air museum for the North East. He realised the dramatically-changing region was losing its industrial heritage. Coal mining, ship building and iron and steel manufacturing were disappearing, along with the communities that served them.

Frank wanted the new museum to “illustrate vividly” the way of life of “ordinary people” and bring the region’s history alive. I think he did a cracking job.

That was short and sweet so on to some pictures, a combination of digital and film shots.

The first place we visited was the new 1950’s Farm. Spain’s Field Farm, from Eastgate, near Stanhope, tells the story of upland farming in the North East during the 1950s. The farm was kindly donated to Beamish by the Jopling family and around 1,170 tonnes of the farm’s stone and timber were moved to the museum after being thoroughly recorded. During the dismantling of the building a good few objects were discovered, a Georgian bread oven, and 17th century cannonball to name a few. Fragments of 1950s Farmer’s Weekly magazines, furniture and farm tools were also found. Samples from the remnants of internal paint, lino and wallpaper were also taken.

Spain’s Field Farm (contax aria, silbersalz 35)
plough thingy (contax & silbersalz)
milk-0! (contax & silbersalz)
View of the 1900’s Pit Village from the farm (contax & silbersalz)
Happy Christmas Bull! (contax & silbersalz)

From the farm we went on to see Rowley Station, as we can never resist old train stuff! The station was originally in Rowley, near Consett, County Durham, in 1867. It has never had gas or electricity and was always lit by oil. The station was the first relocated building to be opened at the museum and was officially unveiled in 1976 by Poet Laureate Sir John Betjemin. A wrought-iron footbridge from the 1900’s town crosses the railway line and leads towards the signal box, dating from 1896. Across the tracks in the Goods Yard is a Goods Shed, dating from 1850.

North Eastern Line (fuji X100F)
ticket office (FujiX100F)
Tracks (contax & silbersalz)
signals box (FujiX100F)
inside the box (contax & silbersalz)
adverts (FujiX100F)
left luggage (contax & silbersalz)

I think that’s enough for this time, but

because we’ll be going back to Beamish next time. 😊

38 thoughts on “Beamish Outdoor Museum ~ Feb 2023

  1. Love the pictures. Looks like where I grew up. I’m thinking the plough thingy is a hay rake. I used to pull something similar.

    Can’t wait till they open ’80s town! Should be a Blockbuster and an arcade . . .

    Liked by 5 people

  2. What a cool concept and a great place to wander about and photograph. I’ve never heard of an outdoor museum before. Also love the old train station, especially seeing the ticket office. Happy Easter, Fraggle!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Places like this are more than just museums, they serve to remind us of time and change. History becomes what we have today. I wonder what such museums will show about 2023 in a hundred years or so! Nice work.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As usual your history lesson made me feel very beamish, Fraggle. Oh, that talk about taking apart something brick by brick and moving it miles away, reminds me, if you are missing your old London Bridge thingy, you can find it sitting in the desert in the US’
    And as always your fine camera eye and technique makes me feel beamish.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Interesting piece and nice photos. It’s a great place isn’t it? We went pre COVID but the farm and 50s/60s bit wasn’t complete. We must get there over the summer. We would like to visit Durham again and call in on my home town of Hartlepool and revisit the Marina and Maritime Museum.


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