Miners and suffragettes at English museum

This video says about itself:

May 2, 2011

Short video of the Town and Railway station from the Beamish Museum. Beamish is an open air, living history, museum in the North East of England.

By Peter Frost in Britain:

A living slice of Co Durham‘s history

Monday 08 July 2013

Just 12 miles from Durham lies a most amazing living museum.

Beamish recreates a little piece of north-east England and Co Durham as it was a century ago.

Domestic buildings, shops, pubs, industrial archaeology and much else has been collected all over the area and been meticulously reconstructed here at Beamish.

When you walk down the cobbled street at the Beamish Living Museum you walk back 100 years in the history of the north-east.

Peep into the dentist’s office and be terrified.

The newspaper office is still printing the latest news and in the co-op store there is everything the family of the 1900s needs to live.

There is a vintage sweetshop still making its own toffee in huge copper pans.

You can buy a pennyworth. But be careful – you don’t want to end up back at the dentist!

The pub still sells good northern beer and the home-made pies really are wonderful.

Next door the stables hold the heavy horses that still deliver goods and visitors all around the museum site.

It’s a big site with its own steam railway where you can ride behind a replica of George Stephenson’s first ever successful railway locomotive.

Stephenson was of course the first ever Geordie. You’ll also find the famous Puffing Billy on the railway tracks here.

At the home farm they still raise ancient breeds of animals, fruit and vegetables. If you time your visit to the farmhouse kitchen right you might get asked to sample some delicious traditional dishes.

Hop on the horse bus or the electric trams and head for the pit village. Brave souls can even venture underground in the coal mine while more timid visitors can visit the pitmen’s cottages.

The museum is more than aware of the rich working-class history of the north-east. It held a huge celebration this year to mark the centenary of the death of local Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison.

Each year the museum has a Suffragette Day with local women and men celebrating the campaign in north-east England to win the vote for women.

A recreated march tours the old town with banners, songs and Suffragettes in period costume.

Sashes, rosettes and big hats are all decked in the white, green and purple of the women’s suffrage movement.

The on-site coal mine isn’t just about hewing the coal.

Trade union banners and displays highlight the rich socialist and trade union history of the north-east’s coal industry.

The museum works closely with the organisers of the Miners’ Gala.

The reconstructed co-op store in the living museum high street underlines just how important the co-operative movement was to working people, and not just as shops.

The knowledgeable shop assistants are experts on all the many aspects of the social history of the co-op.

The co-op made and sold unadulterated food and drinks. This was important because then, as now, many private companies were more interested in profits than purity.

Co-operative-owned factories made quality goods at reasonable prices. The co-ops were run by and for their members and organised on solid socialist principles.

Beamish is more than just another living museum. It taps a rich vein of the working-class history of Co Durham.

Exactly the same rich socialist vein that Durham’s Miners’ Gala keeps alive every July.

So stay a day or two before or after the Gala. There is a lot to see and do in this corner of the north-east.

Beamish Museum is open every day. Beamish, Co Durham DH9 0RG, tel: (0191) 370-4000, (www.beamish.org.uk)

3 thoughts on “Miners and suffragettes at English museum

  1. Pingback: United States voting rights in trouble | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: British suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst, new biography | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Australian-British airship suffragette Muriel Matters | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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