I recently took a trip back in time to find out what life in Geordieland was like in the 1950’s and it came as no surprise when I discovered that it was really rather cool!
The Festival of 50’s at Beamish was a four day celebration of everything that was great during the decade that brought us Rock n Roll & Teddy Boys! I have always loved the era, especially the clothes and music so I couldn’t wait to check it out!
I was even more delighted when I realised the dates (14 – 17 July 2016) coincided with a visit from my parents and my adorable niece and nephew. We had last visited Beamish together two years ago (you can read about that visit HERE) and we were eager to create even more happy memories at the Living Museum of the North!
When we woke up on Saturday morning the weather was glorious, so we packed a picnic and excitedly piled in to two cars. Beamish is set in the beautiful County Durham countryside and is easy to get to by bus or car from Newcastle. (Tip – if you travel there by Go North East bus you can save 25% off entry!) The entrance fee is actually great value for money (Adults £18.50, Kids £10.50, Under 5’s Free) because it gives you unlimited entry for a year – and there’s so much to see and do you really do need to visit more than once!
From the entrance we jumped on a vintage tram and headed straight for the Events Field where the 50’s Festival was taking place. We could easily have spent the entire day in this one area. There was live music, dance lessons, vintage cars, traditional games and loads more. The whole field was filled with vibrant colours and smiling faces, including ours, as you can see…
Many people were enjoying picnics in the sunshine so we decided to join them and found the perfect spot in front of a gleaming 1950’s Chevrolet. If you didn’t already know, I’m rather a fan of vintage vehicles and these gorgeous cars reminded me of the amazing experience I had last week when I got the chance to drive an old Mustang.
I was so glad we brought our own food and drink as Beamish was very busy and there were rather large crowds at every refreshment stand and tea room. There was also a huge queue at the pop-up hair salon where people had the chance to get a 50’s inspired makeover for a fiver. Despite the wait, my mum and I decided to treat ourselves while James and my Dad took the kids to the fairground and I’m glad we did; Mum got a beehive and I adored my victory rolls!
After a couple of hours at the festival we decided to go and explore some of Beamish’s other popular attractions including The 1900’s Town, The Pit Village and The Colliery but despite arriving as the doors opened at 10am, we ran out of time to visit the 1940’s Farm or 1820’s Pockerly. Here are some pics from the bits we did get to see…
Our family day out at Beamish was one I’ll remember for a long time to come and it was made all the better by the marvellous Festival of 50’s. I was therefore delighted to learn that the decade will one day have an area of Beamish dedicated to it permanently, thanks to the Remaking Beamish project, which you can read more about here: www.beamish.org.uk/about/remaking-beamish
I’d like to thank all the staff at Beamish who made our day extra special with their unfaltering enthusiasm and friendliness. Especially the lovely coachman who let Jack and Emily take the reins during our ride on a horse drawn carriage and the Bobbies on the beat who let me off with a caution for disturbing the peace! Keep up the good work guys!
This post barely scratches the surface in showing you all the delights of Beamish so to plan your own day out there head to www.beamish.org.uk. If you’ve got any questions about how to make the most of your visit, fire away and I’ll do my best to answer them!