Festival of 50s

Thu 12th - Sun 15th Jul

Be transported back to the days of Teddy boys, Pathé News and petticoats at our Festival of 50s.

Dig out your 50s finery and rock ‘n’ roll along to this fabulous celebration of all things 50s. Enjoy some fantastic 50s food, fashion and fun from 12th to 15th July!

Festival of 50s at Beamish Museum, County Durham.

On all four days

  • Be entertained by Suzie B’s Boys, 1.45-2.30pm on Thursday and Friday and 12-12.45pm on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Sample the delights of macaroni cheese, coronation chicken sandwiches, corned beef pie and Battenberg, and visit the 50s ice cream bike!
  • Pop across to Wanda, the 50s caravan, to try on clothing from the times and see the change in fashion, looking at everyday dress and design throughout the decade. Also, have a go at traditional toys and games.
  • In this exciting footballing year, Durham Amateur Football Trust will be looking at the popularity of the Amateur League in the 1950s. See how much the kits, supporters and organisation of the game has changed and see the traditional changing room.
  • The North East Police History Society will be looking at crime and punishment during the decade, visitors can step inside their police office and see the 50s uniforms and equipment. Discover the plans for Beamish’s police houses from Gateshead and share your memories.
  • See amazing 1950s vehicles on display, including a BBC broadcasting bus.
  • Explore the NHS health and welfare clinic, find out about maternity services in the 1950s and see the waiting room. Learn about the development of inoculations during the decade with the Sunderland branch of the British Polio Fellowship Society.
  • Members of the LGBT History Project NE will be telling the story of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender heritage across the North East in the 1950s.
  • Try your hand at bowls (sponsored by Co-operative Funeral Care).
  • Meet the Beamish Telecom engineers, have a go on the switchboard and see photographs and ephemera from the key industries in our region at the time.
  • See the 1950s kitchen set up and find out about the museum’s exciting Remaking Beamish plans.

Enjoy the more traditional dances from the decade at the fabulous 50s tea dance on Thursday and Friday, 2.45-4.45pm.

During the weekend

  • Treat yourself to a fantastic hairdo (small charge applies).
  • Newcastle United Foundation will be running a football showcase, 10am-12pm on both days.
  • Listen to live music from Davie T and the Razz Berries on Saturday, 1.45-2.30pm & 3.45-4.30pm.
  • Ruby and the Mystery Cats perfoming on Sunday, 1.45-2.30pm & 3.45-4.30pm.
  • The Beamish Choir will be singing hits from the 50s over the weekend, 1.15-1.45pm & 3-3.30pm on Saturday and 1.15-1.45pm & 3.15-3.45pm on Sunday.
  • The Linsey School of Dance performing on Sunday, 11-11.20am.
  • Beamish Brass Band playing 11.20-11.40am on Sunday.
  • Learn about the story of skiffle, 10.30-11.10am on Saturday and 10.20-11am on Sunday, and dance along to band Hop, Skiffle and Jump, 11.30am-12pm, 12.45-1.15pm & 2.45-3pm on Saturday and 11.40am-12pm, 12.45-1.15pm & 2.45-3.15pm on Sunday.

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 is building a 1950s Town and 1950s Farm, and a Georgian coaching inn where visitors can stay overnight 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.

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