Home Places to visit Dig for Victory at Beamish Museum

Dig for Victory at Beamish Museum

Meet the lumberjills at Dig for Victory. Picture; Beamish Museum
Meet the lumberjills at Dig for Victory. Picture; Beamish Museum

Look back at the past for gardeners and social history lovers, August 29-September 1

Get stuck in and join Dig for Victory at Beamish, discovering what life on the Home Front was like in County Durham during the Second World War.

The Dig for Victory campaign aimed to encourage people to transform their gardens and other land into vegetable plots, to grow food to replace imported produce.

The National Federation of Women’s Institutes’ Jam Drive was also set up as part of efforts to bottle and preserve surplus fruit and vegetables.

Identity card time! Picture; Beamish Museum
Identity card time! Picture; Beamish Museum

See Sue Welford’s photo report here.

Visitors can meet the Land Girls and lumberjills, take part in Home Guard drills, see military vehicles, enjoy 1940s music and dancing, watch the Durham Light Infantry displays, get a 1940s victory rolls hairdo and join in a planting activity.

Jam drive

Help with “make do and mend” and the jam drive, visit the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, join in with apple pressing and bunting making, see the ferrets and watch willow basket making and the blacksmith at work.

All dressed up... Picture; Beamish Museum
All dressed up… Picture; Beamish Museum

In the Land Girls’ cottage, learn rationing beauty tips, including beetroot for lip stain and gravy browning for a leg tint.

Entertainment includes Fast Footing Swing Dance, Ragtime Rewind Swing Band, Bright Street Big Band, Beamish Choir and singer Ashley Stirling.

Listen out for the air raid siren and don’t forget to have your wartime ID card at the ready.

Great day out for the kids. Picture; Beamish Museum
Great day out for the kids. Picture; Beamish Museum

Siân Fox, Community Events Officer, said: “We’re really looking forward to the Dig for Victory event, with so much happening at our 1940s Farm, including lumberjills, Home Guard and more re-enactors. There’s also a great line-up of singers and dancers too.

Victory roll

“In the cottages, you can learn about make-up on ration, see our hairdresser for a victory roll and take part in our planting activity.

“There will also be period vehicles joining us over the four days, both travelling around site and on display on the Events Field. Come along to enjoy four days of 40s fun.”

Vintage fire engines. Picture; Beamish Museum
Vintage fire engines. Picture; Beamish Museum

Dig for Victory is the first event in Beamish’s Great North Festival of Agriculture, which will continue with the Leek Show on September 7-8, the Agricultural Show from September 12-15 and Hands-on Heritage Skills from September 21-22.

The Beamish Unlimited Pass – pay once and return free for a year – is valid for Dig for Victory and other daytime events.

Beamish is open daily from 10am to 5pm (last admission 4pm). For more information, 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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