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Harvest celebrations at Beamish Museum

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Georgian harvest feast
Georgian harvest feast at Pockerley Old Hall. Picture; Beamish Museum

Saturday and Sunday, October 1-2

The Great North Festival of Agriculture at Beamish Museum draws to a close this weekend with the celebration of Harvest Home and Harvest Festival.

Pockerley Old Hall and The 1940s Farm will be preparing Harvest Home feasts – a celebration of food, drink, and entertainment to thank all who helped to bring the harvest safely home.

The Georgian spread at Pockerley will include traditional delicacies such as pigs’ trotters, pigeon, quail, rabbit, and herring, with a pig’s head centrepiece. Traditional folk musicians King Cole will be playing.

Chapel
Harvest festival at the chapel

Things are a little different at The 1940s Farm. The farmer’s wife would like to keep up the Harvest Home tradition, but wartime rationing means that she’ll have to produce some very creative cooking (though she may have some secret ingredients hidden away).

She’ll be coming up with tasty treats like glory buns, Woolton pie, Nothing Fancy Wartime Loaf and carrot fudge.

She’ll certainly consult her Durham Wartime Cookery Book to make the most of the limited ingredients available.

While The Farm may not be able to feed its guests in style, it can certainly entertain them. Visitors are invited to join in the ceilidh with Sunniside Up.

Georgian harvest feast
Georgian harvest feast – including pig’s head and trotters

In The Pit Village’s Methodist chapel, it’s time for Harvest Festival.

Children from Beamish Youth Club, dressed in period costume, will gather flowers and vegetables from the pit cottage gardens and process with posies and vegetable offerings to help decorate the chapel.

There’ll be traditional harvest hymn singing, led by the Beamish Choir on Saturday and Broomside Choir on Sunday – all the old favourites such as We Plough the Fields and Scatter and All Things Bright and Beautiful.

The Beamish Unlimited Pass, which is valid for 12 months, can be used for the harvest celebrations and all other daytime events at Beamish.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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