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|
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 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.
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?