Follow this blog for the latest updates on our research for this exciting expansion of Beamish.
Beamish is about to embark on a new long term project. This will include the creation a 1950s town, in which buildings like the cinema, police house, semi-detacheds, parade of shops and community centre will help to demonstrate the beginnings of modern life in the North East. Others such as the Aged Miners Homes and post Second World War ‘pre-fabs’ will convey how new buildings were constructed to cope with the effects of the past. While the modified Victorian terrace and upland farm will show how the area also redeveloped its buildings, as it looked to the future. Numerous stories and objects contributed from individual donors and local communities will be collected to bring this area to life.
In addition to this, we will also be expanding our 1820s area to include the buildings of early industry; such as a wind mill, candle house, pottery, and blacksmiths – all of which will be working exhibits, where our visitors will be able to watch activities like grinding corn, or join in by throwing a pot or making a candle. As well as this we will be re-constructing a Georgian coaching inn, with its own assembly rooms and stable. We will also be re-creating a lost cottage from its archaeological remains, that once belonged to Joseph Hedley, a famous local quilter who was brutally murdered for his supposed wealth.
W. Smith’s Chemist and Photographer’s
We began construction work on our latest project during June this year. The building will be a near replica of a Georgian, three-storey, former pub on Elvet Bridge in Durham. It will contain a chemist shop selling Edwardian patent cures and balms, as well as a working photographer’s studio, where visitors will be able to have their photographs taken in period-style costume. Additionally, the building will house a soda waters plant, which will manufacture flavoured fizzy drinks.
W Smith’s will take 12 months to build and 6 months to fit out, with an aim of completion in late 2015.
St Helen’s Church, Eston
In the late 1990s Beamish stepped in to save St Helen’s Church in Eston, Middlesbrough, from being demolished because of the damaged caused by vandals. Having carefully dismantled the church, Beamish stored the numbered stones for over 10 years, and in 2010 began to rebuild it as accurately as possible at the Museum using traditional lime-mortar. It is the oldest, most complex and carefully reconstructed building that Beamish has ever moved and will be set in the late Georgian period, which corresponds to an 1822 rebuild of the church.
We’re currently undertaking the installation of the floors, windows, doors, gallery and other fixtures, as well as the landscaping around the Church, under the watchful eye of the Reverend Vyvyan Peck (our resident owl). We’re hoping to have it completed in late 2015.