Festival of 50s

Thu 6th - Sun 9th Jul

Dance the day away to live music, treat yourself to a 50s hairdo or simply enjoy a milkshake in the sun at the Festival of 50s this summer at Beamish.

Hop aboard the fabulous 50s bus at the museum and be transported to the days of rock ‘n’ roll and teddy boys, Pathé News and petticoats from 6th to 9th July.

Here’s a flavour of what you’ll be able to see and do during the event;

  • Sing and dance along to band Hop, Skiffle and Jump.
  • See the change in clothing for men and women, looking at everyday dress and design throughout the decade.
  • Take a look at our 50s toy shop, try your hand at bowls (sponsored by Co-operative Funeral Care), get yourself connected with our telephone exchange and help decorate the Coronation float to mark the 1953 Coronation.
  • Durham Amateur Football Trust will be bringing along some fantastic football memorabilia and explaining amateur football in the 50s.
  • On Sunday, who will be crowned Beamish Champions 2017 in the football tournament?
  • Spend time in a typical police station office with the North East Police History Society.
  • Sample the delights of macaroni cheese, oxtail soup and crisps, and delicious 50s milkshakes!
  • Visit our NHS baby clinic and also find out about the important introduction of NHS immunisations during the 50s for conditions such as TB and polio.
  • Find out where young men were posted during National Service in the 50s, learn about their different roles and what was happening internationally.
  • Take a look at news stories and memorable occasions from the decade, share your memories and tell us your 50s highlights.
  • Let the North East Film Archive take you on a journey through time revealing the stunning North East coastline captured on film during the 1950s in the Masonic Hall in The Town. With thanks to the North East Film Archive, Yorkshire Film Archive and Newcastle and District Amateur Cinematographers’ Association.

On Thursday and Friday you can:

  • Enjoy the more traditional dances from the decade at our fabulous 50s tea dance.

Download Thursday and Friday’s events programme here. 

On Saturday and Sunday:

  • Treat yourself to a fantastic hairdo (small charge applies), also, come along in your 1950s finery and enter the Mr and Mrs Beamish contest or the Master and Miss Beamish competition for under 16s.
  • Enjoy live music from the Troubleshooters on Saturday, The Baldy Holly Band on Sunday and the Beamish Choir throughout the weekend.
  • Pop across to Wanda, our 50s caravan, to try on clothing from the times to see if you suit the style – don’t forget to pick up your props for a 50s holiday photograph (small charge applies).

Download Saturday and Sunday’s events programme here.

What’s more, as with all daytime events, there is no extra charge for the Festival of 50s. Daytime admission is included in the regular museum entry charge and it’s free for Unlimited Pass holders.

Beamish has plans to build a 1950s Town and upland farm, a Georgian coaching inn and other developments as part of the Remaking Beamish project courtesy of a £10.9million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The 1950s Town is set to include houses, shops, police house, cafe, cinema and recreation area. Aged Miners’ Homes will be a centre for people living with dementia and their families and carers. A 1950s trolleybus system and restored buses will transport visitors.

For more information keep checking back here or follow us on our Facebook and Twitter pages.