Beamish Folk Museum, County Durham, N.E. England

We visited the Beamish Folk Museum in County Durham – north east England in June last year and I could have sworn that I had done several blogposts about it soon after the visit, but it seems that I didn’t get around to it. Either that or the computer has somehow deleted all evidence of them. It could just be that as I have a habit of writing blogposts in my head while I’m doing mundane things around the house and garden in the daytime – I never did get around to actually writing any. It’s a mystery, anyway, if you remember Beamish blogposts and I’m being repetitive – sorry! I did do one, though!

Just as we got into Beamish we could see a big crowd of people, some dressed in period clothing and it transpired that we were lucky enough to be there at the start of a procession which was making its way to a new 1950s part of the folk museum which was just being opened for the first time. The north-east of England was a coalmining area, so the old miners’ banners were being given an airing, something which doesn’t happen often nowadays I suppose as there are no miners left to march with them. The banners themselves are works of art.

Miners' Banner, Beamish

Every coalmine had its own band. Given the state that their lungs must have been in it’s amazing that they had the puff for the brass and silver bands. Fife was a coalmining county and some of the bands are still going, years after the last mine has been closed down permanently. I must say that the ones I’ve heard have been very melodic.

Procession, Beamish

For some reason a flotilla of old-fashioned prams – or perambulators if you want to be fancy were taking part in the parade. I love these Silver Cross type enamelled prams, it was the type I was wheeled about in as a youngster, not that I remember it. In those days kids travelled in real style. They must have been much comfier and cosier than modern day buggies.

old prams, Beamish Folk Museum

After that we took a trip on a tram, a couple of different steam trains and an ancient bus.

Trams, old bus, Beamish Folk Museum

Trams, Beamish Folk Museum

We certainly got our money’s worth on that day out!

Beamish Folk Museum, County Durham, England

We are members of lots of arty and historical organisations such as the National Trust, Scottish Heritage, Friends of the Edinburgh Galleries and such AND we got annual passes to Beamish folk museum when we visited there last year, it’s situated near Stanley in County Durham. We were sure we would go back as we had such a good time there but we didn’t manage to get there as planned at Christmas and after the winter it didn’t open because of the Covid-19 situation of course. Anyway it turns out that I didn’t blog about it although I could have sworn that I did. Here are some of the photos I took. In the beginning Beamish was just farmland, you can read about the history of the place here. The buildings have all been moved to the site brick by brick and stone by stone to be saved for posterity rather than being demolished.

Beamish, Church + from waggonway

There are all sorts of buildings there, below is Pockersley Hall which has a lovely chocolate box garden.

Pockersley Hall, Beamish, County Durham, folk museum

A teeny wee thatched cottage, this photo was taken from an ancient steam train as we were riding on it.

thatched cottage, Beamish from waggonway

And this is the train we were on, I remember seeing illustrations of a train like this one when I was ‘doing’ the Industrial Revolution at school, I never thought I’d actually have a trip on one!

Puffing Billy and train, Beamish, County Durham

You can go inside all the buildings, a few of them I would quite happily have lived in.

Farm terrace, Beamish, County Durham

Volunteers are on hand, living the life, rolling out pastry or whatever and answering questions.

1930s fireplace, Beamish, County Durham

Actually it all seemed very homely to me as most of the ‘stuff’ was very similar to the furniture that we had had to get rid of when we downsized to a more modern and manageable house – all of six years ago now. I looked at a Victorian bed chest and could have sworn it had been ours! And the gate below is exactly the same as the back gate of the 1930s house that I grew up in, except ours was in better condition and painted rural green.

1930s gate, Beamish, County Durham, folk museum

1930s chairs, Beamish, County Durham, folk museum

Do you remember those halcyon days when we didn’t have to worry about crowds and social distancing? Below is the queue for the working bakery at Beamish but we didn’t bother to join the queue, it looked like they might run out of stuff to sell anyway! I was really taking the photo of the lovely Edwardian?Victorian window. There’s also an old sweetie shop selling authentic sweets, we DID queue up for that one. Indian Limes anyone? They were delicious.

Beamish, Edwardian  windows,

We hope we’ll be able to visit again – sometime.

Pockersley Hall from road, Beamish, folk museum, County Durham