Take a step back in time

A farming museum is opening its doors to help the agricultural community.

The Armstrong Household and Farming Museum, at North Charlton Farm, near Alnwick, is holding an open day in aid of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) which provides care and support for farmers, farm workers, farm managers and their families.

The museum, set up 30 years ago by Sylvia and Charlie Armstrong, is a private collection which focuses on farming and rural life.

It takes the visitor back to the days when people cooked on a range in a traditional kitchen.

There are sections devoted to dairy, farming by hand, needlework, children’s toys and a Victorian parlour. There’s a traditional nursery with a collection of games, toys and children’s clothing from the past.

There is also an archive of farm literature on display going back more than 50 years, including mart catalogues, account books, farm sales and land particulars.

Sylvia said: “Over the years we have opened the doors of the museum for individual charities and, as you can imagine, we are delighted that we are supporting a charity in aid of the agricultural community.

“The history of agriculture and farming is exactly what this museum is about, so we really do hope that those who attend will enjoy seeing so many items from farming, family and rural life of a bygone era.”

The museum open day is on Friday, July 18, from 11am to 5pm.

Admission is £5 per person. Refreshments will be available and all money raised will be donated to RABI.

Margaret Brown, RABI Northumberland co-ordinator and one of Sylvia and Charlie’s children, said: “We are delighted that this private museum, which has raised thousands of pounds for charity over the years, is opening its doors in aid of raising funds for RABI.

“This really is a fantastic collection and a real labour of love with one main aim – to ensure that our farming past does not get forgotten in this vastly different age and throwaway society.”