Home Places to visit Beamish Museum: Festival of the 50s

Beamish Museum: Festival of the 50s

Festival of the 50s. Picture; Beamish Museum
Festival of the 50s. Picture; Beamish Museum

Get ready to rock ‘n’ roll, July 12-15, 2018

Vintage fans, it’s time to dust off your petticoats and slick back your hair for Beamish’s Festival of the 50s this weekend in County Durham.

There’s live music, costumes to try on and food and drink from the decade.

Beamish is building a 1950s Town as part of the £18million Remaking Beamish project, which has been awarded £10.9million by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Visitors will be able to dance to band Hop, Skiffle and Jump and be entertained by Suzie B’s Boys.

Sample the delights of macaroni cheese, coronation chicken sandwiches, corned beef pie and Battenberg, and visit the 50s ice cream bike!

Festival of the 50s. Picture; Beamish Museum
Having fun at the Festival of the 50s. Picture; Beamish Museum

Dress up in 50s fashion

Pop across to Wanda, the 50s caravan, to try on clothing from the times and see the change in fashion, looking at everyday dress, design, toys and games.

Durham Amateur Football Trust will be looking at the Amateur League in the 1950s – a little different to the professional game now.

The North East Police History Society will be looking at crime and punishment in their police office and see the 50s uniforms and equipment. Discover the plans for Beamish’s police houses from Gateshead and share your memories.

See 1950s vehicles on display, including a BBC broadcasting bus.

Explore the NHS health and welfare clinic, from maternity services to the development of inoculations with the Sunderland branch of the British Polio Fellowship Society.

Royal frenzy… magazines of the period

LGBT History Project

Members of the LGBT History Project NE will be telling the story of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender heritage across the North East in the 1950s.

There’ll be bowls (sponsored by Co-operative Funeral Care), and visitors can meet the Beamish Telecom engineers, have a go on the switchboard and see photographs and ephemera from key industries.

On Thursday and Friday, enjoy the more traditional dances from the decade at a tea dance.

During the weekend, treat yourself to a fantastic hairdo (small charge applies). Newcastle United Foundation will be running a football showcase.

Listen to live music from Davie T and the Razz Berries on Saturday and Ruby and the Mystery Cats on Sunday, and the Beamish Choir will be singing hits from the 50s over the weekend.

Festival of the 50s. Picture; Beamish Museum
Hula hooping at the Festival of the 50s. Picture; Beamish Museum

Brass band and Meccano

The Linsey School of Dance and the Beamish Brass Band will be performing on Sunday.

The North East Meccano Society will hold an exhibition, with construction sets dating from the 1900s to the present day.

Taking place in the Collections Study Room, next to Open Stores, there’ll be working Meccano models of all kinds for visitors to enjoy, including industrial and agricultural vehicles.

The Festival of the 50s and Meccano Exhibition are included in admission to Beamish and are free to Unlimited Pass holders.

For more details, visit www.beamish.org.uk.

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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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