Beamish fields a festival with an insight into farming culture with Dig for Victory weekend

Beamish is inviting people to join its lumberjills, Home Guard and Land Girls as it looks back at 1940s life.

Wednesday, 29th August 2018, 8:04 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th August 2018, 9:51 pm
Lumberjills will be demonstrating their skills.

From tomorrow until Sunday, the County Durham living museum will host its first event in its Great North Festival of Agriculture.

Visitors can pick up their wartime ID cards and discover life on the Home Front during the Second World War.

The team at Beamish is ready to welcome visitors as part of the Dig for Victory event.

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They will be able to see military vehicles including a tank, Jeeps and armoured cars, enjoy 1940s music and dancing, take part in Home Guard drills, watch the Lumberjills’ sawing demonstrations and see the blacksmith at work.

They can also get a 1940s hairdo and beauty tips from the Land Girls, take part in flag making and pea planting, support the jam drive and make do and mend, meet the ARP Warden, discover 1940s “wireless” shows and see the ferrets.

Military encampments will be welcoming visitors on the Events Field and Rowley Station will go forward in time to the 1940s period, with performances from the Beamish Choir on Saturday.

Paul Foster, its historic events officer, said: “Come and join us to Dig for Victory – we’re really looking forward to this fantastic event.

Vehicles from the 1940s will be on display as part of this weekend's event at Beamish.

"Visitors can find out what life was like on the Home Front during the Second World War, and how the Dig for Victory campaign helped the war effort.

“From Land Girls, Lumberjill displays and Home Guard drills to military vehicles, music and dancing, and hands-on activities, there’s so much to see and do.

“Dig for Victory is the first event in our Great North Festival of Agriculture, come along and take part.”

The Ministry of Food launched its Dig for Victory campaign in October 1939, a month after war broke out.

Military encampments will be welcoming visitors on the Events Field.

Everyone was encouraged to transform their gardens into vegetable plots.

The campaign aimed to help replace imported food and goods that had been destroyed in transit.

The National Federation of Women’s Institutes launched a jam drive, making preserves for distribution.

Dig for Victory is the first event in Beamish’s Great North Festival of Agriculture, which continues with the Leek Show on September 8 and 9, the Agricultural Show the following weekend and Hands-on Heritage Skills on September 22 and 23.

Its Harvest Festival and Harvest Home on will be held on the final weekend of September.

As with all daytime events, Dig for Victory is included in admission to Beamish Museum and is free for Unlimited Pass holders and Friends of Beamish members.

Beamish is open daily from 10am to 5pm, with its last admission 4pm.

For more information about Dig for Victory and the Great North Festival of Agriculture, visit