Friday, 7 March 2014

A Day in Yesteryear // Beamish Open Air Museum.

Beamish. If you're from the North you've heard of it and most likely visited on either a school trip or a day outing like us.
Set in Stanley, Durham, the open air real life town 'museum' was a 15 minute metro ride followed by a 50 minute bus journey from our house (although a mere 27 minutes if we still had a car haha) and replicates what a Northern town would of been like in the early 20th century. Buildings and exhibits are all either real antiques that have been relocated or replicas and staff are dressed accordingly in outfits from the era.

There are many old trams and buses to help you navigate around the 300 acre estate, however Jake and I decided that on such a lovely day we'd just walk. First up we came across the Colliery Village. This is where there is a draft coal mine that is actually an original feature of the area and I was rather disappointed to find out it is closed during the winter months as I had psyched myself up to take the tour for the first time.


As well as the mine, reconstructed pit works and steam locomotives, the village is home to the school, church and miners cottages, the school in-particular a firm favorite on school trips (there were two while we were there), with scary headmasters, writing slate and metal rolling hoops to try and play with out in the school yard - I remember it all distinctively from my childhood visits.
The miners cottages, across the road from the school are a depiction of where I'd love to live! Cute, compact and minimal...in a way. A greenhouse at the bottom of the garden with goats and chickens in pens gives a lovely old fashioned sense of being self sufficient and the limited number of houses paired with the proximity to the church and school shows how a small village community would of felt. Uhh I so should of been born back then!
Oh, there was also a cage full of Canaries. Just like the ones that would of been used to detect gas in the mines. (If you look closely, at the first set of 4 photos in this post, you can seen the horribly teeny tiny cage that would of housed the birds on their gas hunting journey.)




By the time we'd had a little explore around there it was nearing lunch time so we set on our way, had a quick peek around the front of Old Pockerley Hall (a Georgian Manor Farm) which like the pit is closed in winter, and then found a quiet seat to sit and eat our picnic.
We finished up and had a lovely stroll to the Victorian town. A few birdies had told me that there had been a couple changes in the past few years and the smell of freshly baked bread catching our noses as we arrived, told me that a Bakery was one of those new additions.


The Masonic Temple from Sunderland was of much interest to Jake and I, being big 'conspiracy theorists' and obviously connecting the dots to that of the Illuminati. That's another story though! I swear I've never been in this building before either, though I can find no evidence of it being a newer addition. The grand hall was well and truely grand, with a glided 'G' on the ceiling apparently symbolizing any individuals own God...although the Masons were not a spiritual group, so that I found slightly contradictory. 



The rest of the town shops are just as interesting as the next and it was always exciting to go into the Co-op as a kid as my Dad was a butcher for them for many years. Being older this time around made me appreciate different things and really enjoyed facts such as products coming in plain colour coded packages for the many people who couldn't read and the affordable red soap named carbolic soap, was used for everything from personal hygiene to laundry and dishes (I later bought a big bar to get it home and find out it's apparently great for acne!).
We obviously made purchases in the famous sweet shop too who make the sweets in house through the back for you to see. Afterwards we had a peek at the beautiful horses in the stables before heading to the row of professional's houses. The piano teacher, the dentist and the Solicitors. There's a real serving pub too but obviously we gave that a miss with being non-drinkers! I had lots of photos from inside the houses and stuff but this post is already ridiculously long without them....


The last leg of our journey around the estate we're to two places that weren't up and running until the summer aswell, but it was still lovely to walk through taking photos as it was only us there. The waggon way usually has a replica steam locomotive with carts to give visitors rides along the short length of track but all trains were tucked up in the 'great shed' - we still stopped by the platform for some posing pics though.
Last but not least is my favorite place. I could stay there forever. Home Farm. I got talking to a goose who was rather tongue tied and we oinked at the poor lonely piggy who came over to say, 'Hi' which was a highlight for me. The pony in the photo above was housed in the Colliery village as were the silly goats.


A quick self timer photo together and a last shot of the Colliery village as we walked back to the entrance and our day was over. I am very thankful that it stayed such amazing weather for us baring in mind it was February! I cannot wait to go back too. Especially once the Chemist, Photographers and Police and Fire stations have been built.
A must for any North Easterners looking for a day out!! Have you been to Beamish? If not would you like to?

16 comments:

  1. This place looks so cool. If it wasn't so far away I would definitely visit. x

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    1. It's awesome! I'd never heard of anywhere else like it but Googled it and there seems to be a few dotted around, maybe there's one near you! x

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  2. Wow. That place looks awesome! I'd love to go check it out.

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    1. It really is! You can even take dogs! Although obviously not in the buildings.
      x

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  3. Oh I just love Beamish - we'd make the long early morning drive from East Yorkshire just to visit there many times over the years! I love the town in particular, especially with all the old kitchens and bedrooms. I love how sucked in with all the history just walking around!

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    1. Aw that's fab that you came all that way! It really does transport you back doesnt it?
      My Mam phoned me while I was there and I said that I didn't feel right talking on a mobile outside the old Co-op! ha x

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  4. Yay been working my way down my read list on blog lovin just waiting to get to this one!

    It's very high up my place of somewhere I want to visit, having now grown up here I never got to have a school trip there :(

    We don't have a car either so glad you can get there by bus :D It all just looks so so lovely .. I WANT TO GO NOW!

    Is it true you pay one admission and then can go back unlimited times in the year?

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    1. You really do need to go!! You'll love it!
      Yep. It's just under £18.00 and it's an annual pass, however as some of the exhibits are closed during winter they have a winter rate of around £8.00 which lets you in just for the day.
      x

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  5. I love Beamish! My parents took me when I was little and I remember playing that stick and wheel in the playground and drawing on the slate at a desk in the school.

    I went with my housemates last year. It was the windiest day I've ever experienced! It would be been a lot better if the weather wasn't was rubbish. There was a school visit the same time, so we got to hear some of the 'characters' teach them about some stuff which was cool. The dentist was cool. And in the coal mines they had a bit of an 'act' where the people that worked there were putting a bit of an act on for the kids and trying to get them to engage. It was quite cool.

    I'm pretty sure they said they were working on extending it when we went.

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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    1. Really?! Ah that's fab that someone else who reads my blog went as a child.

      Where are you based..? I didn't realize you were close to me!
      It is much better when the weather is good like - we were so lucky. Even if it was a bit nippy.

      The apparently have plans for the next 25 years or something mad one of the guys was telling us. They're going to be building another estate too that will be set in the 50s with a diner and such.

      x

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  6. I love beamish. I have so many childhood memories of the sweet shop, the school and the trams. I recently took my class there for a trip and they loved it. You've captured it perfectly in your photos. It's also where my husbands parents met when they both worked there! X

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    1. Aw fab!!! It must of been awesome to see it from the other perspective. I'm glad you liked my photos - thank you very much.
      And what a sweeter way of meeting eh? :)
      x

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  7. I went here quite a bit even though its about 3 hours drive away and always loved it, I was just thinking recently how i'd love to go back sometime soon! Need to work out how accesible it is by train

    shystrangeandalittlebitmanic.blogpot.com

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    1. Wow! I think it's brill that it's such an attraction people come from all over.
      Train access you would be able to either get to Newcastle, Durham or Darlington and get a bus from there depending on which direction you come from.
      Summer is an awesome time to go but during the winter they have a Christmas market and stuff!
      Let me know if you go :)
      x

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  8. I absolutely love Beamish! I used to spend so much money in the sweet shop! I haven't been for years, I'm definitely going to have to take a trip when I'm back home for summer!
    Kloe xx
    skullsnkisses.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Hahaha I was mortified when we spent £7.50! Fatties. I was taking some back for my Mam and Dad though :)
      Oh deffo go!
      x

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