Monday, 19 December 2016

Newest additions to the 1900's town at Beamish

It has been a bit of a while since I last wrote; I don't know what happened to the last couple of months! Apologies. I have an awful lot to catch up on so I thought I would make a start with a recent visit to one of my favourite places - Beamish. You can read more about a previous Beamish visit here.

Beamish is an open air living history museum in the North of England. The site is divided into a few main areas: the 1900's town, the 1940's farm, the 1900's pit village and colliery and the 1820's farm and manor house. Each one gives you a flavour of what life would have been like at the time in those places. Transport between the areas is on vintage trams and buses and you can spend quite a happy time just travelling around the site on these.

Picture heavy post coming up!

One of the trams
Most of the buildings at Beamish have been collected from other towns and villages over the years and have been rebuilt here to save them from demolition or dereliction. They are literally moved stone by numbered stone and rebuilt as they were. The interiors may come from those buildings or may be an amalgamation of period finds from other places.

As they acquire buildings and funding the site is added to. A 1950's town is planned which is an addition that I am really excited about.

Part of the main street in the 1900's town
The other side of the street
The bank
I love going to Beamish and this visit was planned so that we could visit the two newest businesses in the 1900's town, W Smith's chemist and JR and D Edis photographers.




The chemist's shop was fascinating, I spent quite some time just looking at all the packaging of the various lotions and potions. The chemist told us that at the time the drug industry was pretty unregulated so there could be all sorts in the remedies including lead, cocaine and arsenic. Obviously many of the remedies were next to useless and some were downright harmful.


 

The chemist's interior was dominated by rows and rows of labelled drawers, I would love a set of them for my house. Imagine how many treasures you could store in those! If you happened to watch the TV series Dark Angel recently then you will have seen the chemist as several scenes were filmed at Beamish.



It is worth getting chatting with the members of staff as they are dressed up in character and have so much knowledge about the period and the businesses that they work in. I think you get a much more immersive experience if you have these conversations and they really don't mind how random your questions are!


The chemist also sold spectacles, here is one of the displays.


Now to the photographers.


Whilst we were visiting the town was showing the experiences of the First World War and the photographers was busy taking portraits of soldiers in their uniform, to leave with their families, and also portraits of families for the soldiers to take with them.


Wedding photos were popular too of course!



This is the interior of the photographer's studio were the portraits are taken and various backdrops, props and costumes could be utilised.


The photographer's dark room was next to the studio and was the place were all the chemicals needed to develop the photographic plates were stored and used. You can see photographs hanging up to dry on the back wall.

On the wall outside the two shops were lots of advertising signs and information posters.



More from Beamish coming soon. Have you been? Would you like to visit?

16 comments:

  1. How wonderful! I love these kind of museums. I've been to the Black Country Living Museum and we have St Fagans here in Wales. I'll add Beamish to the list!

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    1. I have heard good things about the Black Country museum so will have to add that and St Fagans to my list.

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  2. What an interesting place! I really must venture further afield!!

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    1. I just love it there. I don't think that you would be disappointed.

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  3. I went to Beamish when I was at school (a veeerrrrryyyyy long time ago!) and absolutely loved it. I'd love to go back and see all of the additions since then and experience it through adult eyes.
    I've always wanted a set of apothecary drawers too, I think they'd look amazing in a house. Shame I don't have anywhere to put one though. xx

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    1. oh yes, you should go back for another look! I don't have anywhere to put the drawers either. I think I must be furnishing an imaginary house in my daydreams!

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  4. So glad u r back. This museum looks fab. I have to say though I tried sasparilla as a kid ick

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    1. Thank you! I haven't tried sarsaparilla so maybe I won't now!

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  5. Welcome back! I do have my blogging breaks as well every now and then!

    Wow, this looks a beautiful place! I can imagine it keeps interesting every time you visit.

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    1. Thank you Anthea. You are right, it is interesting every time you visit, there is always something new to look at or something that you had not noticed before.

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  6. That looks like a really cool place to visit. Thanks for sharing it with us :)
    The Artyologist

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    1. It really is a brilliant place to visit.

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  7. That does look brilliant. I need to nag my husband for us to take a holiday up there so we can visit it.

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    1. I really would add it to your holiday destinations list. I think they have a plan to add in a few years a Georgian coaching inn which it will be possible to stay in. I can't wait for that!

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  8. It looks so fabulous. Next time I'm over we should go!

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    1. It's a date! That is a very good plan indeed!

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