Beamish WI

There's something for everyone in the Beamish WI, learn new skills, attend various events & listen to fascinating talks.

Beamish Unlimited

Did you know that Beamish Women’s Institute (WI) is the only museum-based institute in the country?

Founded in October 2014, Beamish WI now has a membership of over 50 women of all ages from the local area. Each month there are interactive talks on local interests such as Northumbria Blood Bikes, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and North East history, the group of have learnt new skills like t’ai chi, paper folding and proggy mat making, and they have taken part in unexpected activities like ice skating, train driving and clog dancing!

This year is an exciting year for the Beamish WI as the museum will host a special event this summer to mark the centenary of The Durham County Federation of Women’s Institutes. The celebration takes place on Saturday, 19th and Sunday, 20th August and will include a grand parade at 2.30pm on both days. Please visit the what’s on section of the Beamish Museum website for more information.


There has never been a better time to get involved in the largest voluntary women’s organisation in the UK. The WI celebrated its centenary in 2015 and currently has almost 220,000 members in approximately 6,300 WIs. In addition to monthly meetings, Beamish WI hold walks, go on visits and take part in events around the country.

The Beamish WI meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 6pm in the Collections Study Room in the Regional Resource Centre at Beamish Museum. Visitors are always welcome to come along and try out a meeting.

If you would like more information, please contact the Beamish WI President, Alison Whelan, email:, or contact Social Secretary, Gemma Stevenson, tel. 0191 370 4052.