This is how Beamish Museum is celebrating its Golden Jubilee as bosses ask the public to share their memories of the museum

Beamish, The Living Museum of the North is launching a year of celebrations to mark its 50th anniversary.

Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 2:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th February 2020, 8:07 pm
50th anniversary celebrations

The open air museum has also announced record visitor numbers of 803,148 for the past year – topping 800,000 visitors for the first time.

Beamish’s Golden Jubilee celebrations will begin with the Happy Birthday Beamish! event during February Half Term, from February 15 to 23.

The 50th anniversary celebrations will continue throughout 2020, with events, exhibitions, competitions and special souvenirs.

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View of the construction of Ravensworth Terrace, Beamish Town Street, 1982

Rhiannon Hiles, Beamish’s Deputy Director, started as a volunteer at Beamish 25 years ago – and is also celebrating her own 50th birthday this year.

She said: “Beamish is everyone’s museum and we are honoured to be part of the region’s heritage, it is the stories and memories of the people of the region that make Beamish what it is.”

Addind: “l am very proud to be part of the museum’s history and we are looking forward to hearing more stories and memories.”

Beamish was founded in 1970 by Frank Atkinson to preserve the region’s everyday ways of life for future generations to experience, including customs, traditions and dialect.

General view of building that is now Herron's Bakery in its original location in Annfield Plain , 1976, before dismantling for Beamish

The museum’s costumed staff and volunteers bring this history to life, with buildings and objects donated from across the region.

Councillor Ossie Johnson, Chair of Beamish Museum, said: “Beamish is truly a living museum belonging to our communities which has allowed us, over the last 50 years, to enhance our visitor experience and we will continue to do this in future years.”

Beamish welcomes visitors from around the world and has more than 500 staff and 500 volunteers.

Among Beamish’s volunteers is Dr Linda Garbutt, Chair of the museum’s Access Panel, who has been a volunteer for nearly 20 years.

She said: “This expertise of all kinds is what I observe at the heart of Beamish and, as it has contributed to this first 50 years, I feel that it will continue to do so into the future.”

During the Happy Birthday Beamish! event visitors can join in Georgian, Edwardian, 1940s and 1950s celebrations, with parties, games, craft activities, cakes and other treats.