From leek shows to First World War commemorations
Whether you’re born and bred in North East England or just visiting, Beamish Museum is a must-visit attraction.
This huge, open-air museum about life in several time periods is somewhere you can go back to again and again – there really is something for everyone in 2018.
Events this winter and spring include:
- Queens of the Machines, Women at War – February half-term, February 10-18: Commemorating the contribution women made during the First World War. It includes the story of Rachel Parsons, daughter of Tyneside industrialist Charles Parsons, who oversaw the recruitment and training of female workers in her father’s steam turbine factory.
- International Women’s Day – March 8, 10 and 11: Join in with Suffragette rallies in The 1900s Town and find out about the role of women in the 1820s, 1900s and 1940s around the museum.
- Easter fun at Beamish – March 30-April 2: Lots of activities, including an Easter egg trail, traditional baking, make a card, an Easter bonnet or a finger puppet, paint an egg and take part in egg-rolling.
- Pedal Power – March 24-25: The Great North Festival of Transport gets underway with this new event celebrating pedal-powered inventions, from tricycles and bicycles to dentist drills.
- The Great War Steam Fair – April 5-8: The annual steam fair this year becomes the Great War Steam Fair, renamed for the centenary of the end of the First World War.
- Horses at War – April 13-15: 60 horses, from pit ponies to pack horses, will be at the museum, including the 16th Lancers Cavalry Unit, to horse-drawn vehicles.
- May Day – May 6-7: Visit the Pit Village to see the crowning of the May King and Queen, music, maypole dancing and crafts.
- Empire and Flag Days – May 19-20: The story of Flag Days, as part of the First World War commemorations, combined with Empire Weekend, including a grand parade of around 1,500 young people representing youth groups and organisations.
Events from summer until winter are:
- Georgian Fair – May 31-June 3: A typical country fair at Pockerley Waggonway includes pedlars, entertainers, strolling musicians and craftsmen and women.
- Reliability Run – June 17: Starting and finishing at the museum, a 150-mile run through Durham and North Yorkshire for vehicles registered before 1956.
- Old King Coal – June 27-July 1: The annual celebration of the mining heritage of the North East, with banner parades and brass bands.
- Festival of the 50s – July 12-15: Dance the day away to live music, treat yourself to a 50s hairdo or enjoy a milkshake.
- Summer of Fun – July 21-August 29: Holidays packed with something for everyone, every day.
- Dig for Victory – August 30-September 2: First event in the five-week-long Great North Festival of Agriculture, telling the story of the rural heritage of the North East.
- Leek Show – September 8-9: The hotly-contested event sees visitors, staff and volunteers enter their home-grown produce, plus a charity auction of entries.
- Agricultural Show – September 13-16: A typical country show from the early 1900s, with demonstrations in the show ring, craftsmen and women demonstrating their skills and livestock and agricultural machinery on view.
- Hands-on Heritage Skills – September 22-23: Get hands-on with heritage skills at The 1940s Farm and Pockerley.
- Harvest Festival and Harvest Home – September 29-30: A celebration of the safe gathering of the harvest.
- Christmas at Beamish – November 17-December 24: Visit Father Christmas in his grotto, meet his reindeer and enjoy tasty yuletide food. Visit the Christmas Bazaar and take a spin on the real ice rink.
There are no extra charges for daytime events at Beamish and Unlimited Passes, giving free admission for a year, can be used. For more information visit www.beamish.org.uk/whats-on.