MUSEUM bosses are on the hunt for a rare oven range and are hoping Echo readers can help them get a bit warmer.
Beamish Museum is searching for a traditional round oven black range to complete its restoration of the dismantled Hetton Silver Band Hall.
The 100-year-old practice hall was taken down brick by brick and moved from Hetton to Beamish, where it is being restored in the museum’s Colliery Village.
However, the project won’t be complete without a round oven black range identical to the one formerly in the practice hall’s kitchen.
Museum curator Jim Rees said Beamish is in desperate need of an oven range to complete its collection.
“We’re running out of time,” he said.
The museum’s efforts to find the distinctive replacement oven have been unsuccessful so far.
The round oven Beamish needs was exclusive to the North East, though black ranges were used across the country.
Mr Rees said it is a mystery why such an oven was fitted in the band hall, which was built in 1912. The range was fitted in the rear extension, which was built in 1930.
“These were going out by the 1890s,” he said. “Why they put one in, I don’t know.”
The restoration of the hall is a reminder of the “rich tradition” of colliery band music in the North East, he added
“People and bands can come and use it, and we can show that tradition to our visitors and celebrate it, and encourage it going forward,” he said.
Fund-raising for the project is ongoing.
Money is being raised by the Friends of Beamish, a volunteer organisation which provides aid and assistance to the museum.
Mr Rees said: “There are no grants. It is being funded by Beamish gate receipts and earnings.”
The museum hopes that visitor levels this autumn will be enough to help fund the restoration of Hetton Silver Band Hall.
The hall, founded in 1887, will be restored and open to visitors next year.
Anyone able to help Beamish locate an oven range is asked to contact Mr Rees on 0191 370 4000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.