UPDATE: Under the government’s COVID-19 national lockdown, the museum is currently closed.
We’ll be keeping you updated on our social media and website as we continue to follow the government’s COVID-19 restrictions.
There’s always something new to see and do at Beamish, whether it’s a new building, a visiting tram or even a new recipe created by the Land Girls at The 1940s Farm, there are plenty of reasons to keep coming back.
Read on to find out what’s new at Beamish…
Northern General Transport Bus Depot
As well as housing the museum’s growing fleet of buses, the Northern General Transport Bus Depot allows visitors to see engineering work on historic vehicles.
We will also host a range of learning activities in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) at the bus depot.
The depot has been supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Go North East and The Reece Foundation, along with local, regional and national trusts and foundations, the Friends of Beamish and the Business Friends of Beamish.
The 1950s Welfare Hall
The exhibit is a replica of Leasingthorne Colliery Welfare Hall and Community Centre, near Bishop Auckland, which opened in 1957. Beamish worked closely with the community members at the original hall – now known as Coundon and Leeholme Community Centre – who shared memories, stories and objects.
The exhibit will play host to 50s dances and games, and will explore the story of the birth of the NHS, among many other activities and events.
The 1950s welfare hall officially opened on Saturday, 22nd June during a weekend of celebrations.
Darlington Corporation Daimler CVG5
The museum has expanded its fleet of buses with the addition of a Darlington Corporation Daimler CVG5, which will be used in the new 1950s Town.
The Remaking Beamish project plans include a bus depot and trolleybus system which will transport visitors to the new attractions, including a welfare hall and working cinema.
The bus, which once operated in Darlington, was discovered on eBay during a search for spare parts for other Beamish vehicles. Following research carried out by the museum’s Transport Team, it was decided the Daimler CVG5 would complement our existing Daimler CVG6 perfectly.
With the addition of the Daimler CVG5, otherwise known as Darlington 304, Beamish now has five operational buses including the Daimlers, and two buses are also under restoration. The museum also has three trolleybuses, one of which is awaiting refurbishment.
Joe the Quilter’s Cottage
The cottage is a recreation of the “lost” home of renowned Georgian quilter Joseph Hedley, who was murdered in 1826, in an appalling crime that shocked the nation. The cottage features stones from Joe’s original home, including flagstones where he stood 200 years ago. The remains of Joe’s cottage in Warden, near Hexham, Northumberland, were uncovered during an archaeological dig by Beamish staff and community members. The exhibit, which tells the story of quilting and the growth of cottage industries in the early 1800s, has been painstakingly recreated by skilled museum staff. A drawing on a postcard that was produced after Joe’s murder gave valuable details about how his home – which was demolished in 1872 – looked. Click here to find out about the story of Joe the Quilter’s cottage.
Joe the Quilter’s cottage was the first building to open as part of the Remaking Beamish project. Thanks to the money raised by National Lottery players, the Remaking Beamish project has been awarded £10.9million by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.