Travel back in time as Beamish opens new 1950s Terrace

The much-anticipated 1950s Terrace at Beamish will open in time for the half-term holidays.

Friday, 18th February 2022, 4:45 pm
Updated Friday, 18th February 2022, 4:46 pm

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Helen Barker, Assistant director for Remaking Beamish prepares to welcome vistors to the new 1950's street at Beamish Museum.
Helen Barker, Assistant director for Remaking Beamish prepares to welcome vistors to the new 1950's street at Beamish Museum.

Travel back to the glory days of the colourful decade with the museum’s latest attraction, which will be launched with a week of activities from February 19-27.

Front Street terrace features John’s Café, Middleton’s Quality Fish and Chips, Elizabeth’s Hairdresser’s and a recreation of the 1950s home of North East artist Norman Cornish.

Visitors will be able to enjoy ice cream and fish and chips, get a 1950s hairstyle and try their hand at sketching as they discover more about Norman and the Spennymoor Settlement.

A 50's poster on display at 1950's village at Beamish Museum.

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The terrace, in Beamish’s 1950s Town, is part of the £20million Remaking Beamish project. Thanks to the money raised by National

Lottery players, the Remaking Beamish project was awarded £10.9million by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2016.

Rhiannon Hiles, Beamish’s Chief Executive, said: “We are so excited and proud to be opening the 1950s terrace this weekend and are really looking forward to welcoming visitors to the newest area of the museum. The opening of John’s Café, Middleton’s chip shop, Norman Cornish’s home and Elizabeth’s Hairdresser’s are major steps in our Remaking Beamish project, and are an integral part of our emerging 1950s Town.

“We are immensely proud of the work that we do with our communities across the region and it has been very special meeting with and listening to the people who have helped to shape the spaces and stories that we will be telling within the new terrace. Seeing the families and friends of those who lived and worked in the original spaces has been an emotive and very special time.

Beamish Team Leader of Joinery Shawn Kay and joiner Tory Mills apply the finishing touchs to the 1950,s Johns Cafe

"We couldn’t have created these new exhibits at Beamish without them, and without the ongoing support from our funders and partners, to whom we extend our heartfelt thanks.”

During the opening celebrations in February Half Term, visitors will be able to discover the new exhibits and take part in activities including

1950s games and be inspired by Norman Cornish, and take part in a sketching trail around the museum.

Ivor Crowther, Head of Investment, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “It is fantastic news that thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, that Beamish’s 1950s terrace is opening for February Half Term. This important milestone in the Remaking Beamish project means that visitors from far and wide can learn more about the North East’s rich heritage, while also giving them

the chance to step back in time and see what life was like in the 50s.

"We know that heritage can play a huge role in bringing people together, and this work at Beamish is a fantastic example of just that.”

The 1950s Town already features Leasingthorne Colliery Welfare Hall and Community Centre. There will also be a cinema (rebuilt from the old Grand cinema in Ryhope), recreation ground, toy shop, electrical shop, police houses, semi-detached homes and Airey houses.

Aged miners’ homes will provide a centre for people living with dementia and other long- term health conditions.

Beamish is open daily, 10am to 4pm during February Half Term (19th to 27th February 2022).

In addition to the 1950s terrace, visitors can explore the rest of the award-winning open air museum, including 1820s Pockerley, The 1900s Town, 1900s Pit Village, 1940s Land Girls’ cottage and 1950s welfare hall.

All visitors must pre-book an entry timeslot online. For full opening times and to book a visit, go to www.beamish.org.uk.

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