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Festival of 50’s at Beamish

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!

Some lovely ladies enjoying the sunshine at the festival

Some lovely ladies enjoying the sunshine at the festival

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!

beamish map

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!

beamish tram

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…

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beamish jack and em

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beamish, fairground, merry-go-round, coal, vintage, summer, merry go round, theme park, vintage, retro

beamish 50s

vintage cars, chevrolet, retro, american cars, grease lightening, classic car

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.

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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!

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beamish, hair, 50's, fifties hair, up do, french pleat, victory rolls, beehive, retro, vintage

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…

beamish tram

One of the trams that are used to transport visitors around Beamish

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Earl and Viking preparing to take visitors for a ride in their cart

beamish pit village garden

Many staff at Beamish actually live on site, thankfully they don’t mind us wandering through their gardens!

beamish pit village

There smell from Davey’s Fish Shop was incredible but sadly it was closed by the time we got there

beamish school collage

I mastered hopscotch but hoop trundling was harder than it looked!

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!

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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!

About Author

Rachel Kershaw

I'm a proud ambassador for all that's great about Geordieland and love sharing the best of what NewcastleGateshead has to offer. I may not be a Geordie born and bred but I've lived here for a over a decade and am proud to call this fabulous region my home!

9 Comments

  1. I am GUTTED to have missed this as it looks like such a wonderful day – Beamish events are the best aren’t they! Love your 50’s inspired hair 😀

  2. This looked great, you really suit the hair do! I haven’t been to Beamish in ages, either there’s a lot more since I last went or I just missed loads out somehow!

    Ami x

    • Thanks Ami, I reckon my hair would have stayed like that for a week with all the hairspray but I thought it might be a bit out there for work! I always discover something new at Beamish and particularly enjoy the special events, I urge you to go back and re-discover it for yourself!

  3. We popped by on Saturday afternoon and really enjoyed the 50’s festival. Loved seeing all the plans for the new section-exciting stuff!

  4. Anonymous Reply

    Thankyou to my amazing sister in law and brother in law for all the wonderful things they do with Jack and Emily xxxx

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