Children learn about World War Two home front effort at Beamish Museum's Dig for Victory event

Families have been enjoying a fun-filled day at Beamish, learning about the World War Two home-front effort as part of the museum’s Dig for Victory event.

Visitors were issued with identity cards which had to be carried during wartime and were checked by the museum’s onsite Home Guard.

Children planted seeds in the farm garden, as would have been the case 80 years ago as many families resorted to growing their own food due to supply shortages as the impact of the war led to rationing.

Hide Ad

Grace Kelly, seven, said: “I’ve really enjoyed visiting the museum and it was fun planting the seeds. People needed to grow their own food as there was a shortage during the war.

Grace Kelly, 7, planting seeds to be grown in the farm garden to help the wartime effort.

"It’s fun to see all the soldiers dressed in their costumes.”

Zachary Guthrie, also seven, added: “It has been interesting to learn about the war and see all the farm tools.”

Hide Ad
Read More
Green fingered students donate vegetable harvest to Sunderland Community Soup Ki...

Zachary’s grandmother, Anne Barnes, believes it’s important children to learn about the efforts and sacrifices of what is now sadly becoming a rapidly diminishing wartime generation.

Hide Ad
The Home Guard checking identity cards at Beamish Museum.

She said: “I really wanted to come to the event as I feel it’s important children also learn about what was happening on the home-front and not just overseas.

Hide Ad

"Being able to see things in real life here at Beamish really gives them a feel for what it was like.”

Visitors were able to visit a conscription tent and see first-hand some of the weapons which would have been used by the Home Guard and soldiers on the front-line.

Hide Ad

Dressed as an Airborne soldier was the museum’s rural life engager, Kevin Caroll, who said: “The children really enjoy being able to see the items first-hand and it’s really important they learn about what took place 80 years ago which has given us the freedoms we have today.”

A member of the Land Army making a cup of tea.
Hide Ad

A key feature of the event was showcasing the role of women who worked as Land Girls and Lumberjills farming the land and providing a vital source of timber – two roles which had traditionally been carried out by men.

Kevin added: “These women played a vital role in keeping the country going.”

Hide Ad

Also visiting the museum with her family was Sophie Wright, 15, who attends UTC in Newcastle.

Hide Ad
The Wright family visiting the Dig for Victory event. Sophie Wright, 15 (far right), believes the "world would be a different place" if it wasn't for the efforts of the wartime generation.

She said: “I already knew about the role of the Land Army but being here at Beamish really brings it to life. It’s important that we remember the efforts of this generation as without it we would be in a very different world to what we have now.”

Hide Ad

The event also played host to a range of vehicles used during the war effort including a Duffie Dodge jeep owned by Pauline and Bob Parkins.

Pauline, 74, said: “Seeing all the vehicles and costumes really brings history to life. I think it’s just as important we remember what was happening at home as well as overseas.”

Hide Ad

The four day event will run until September 5 and will also include firing displays and performances of classic wartime music.

Historic events officer Paul Foster said: “Beamish is about living history which can engage people through sight, sound, smells and taste. It’s important for children to learn about the war effort and see history in action rather than in a book.”

Hide Ad

Visitors will need to book time-slots via the museums website.

Brothers Abe and Zachary Guthrie, two and seven, with their ID cards.
Hide Ad

A message from the editor:

Support your Echo and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to all of our news and sport, see fewer ads, experience faster load times, test your brain with daily puzzles and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. The Sunderland Echo has been on Wearside since 1873, and your support means we can continue telling your stories for generations to come. Click here to subscribe.

Hide Ad
Airborne soldier Kevin Carroll.
Beamish Museum's historic events officer, Paul Foster, believes the Dig for Victory event brings history to life.
Hide Ad
Women on the home-front repairing clothes.