Friends of Beamish Ltd
The Friends of Beamish was formed in 1968 and exists to "to advance the education of the public by the promotion and support of the charitable activities of Beamish”. In furtherance of these objects the Friends undertake restoration work and generally encourage interest in the history of the region and the work of the Museum.
Beamish (the Living Museum of the North) is an internationally renowned open-air museum, telling the story of life in North East England during the 1820s, early 1900s, 1940s and 1950s. Details of Beamish can be found here :- Home - Beamish
Beamish has an operating circular tramway and fleet of heritage buses allowing visitors to experience the sights and sounds of vintage transport. When not in service, trams and buses in the fleet can be seen in the tram depot and newly opened 1950s Northern bus depot. Four-legged, horsepower is in regular use on the Beamish roads and in the fields, demonstrating the way In which animal power was essential in years gone by. There are four railway areas in operation at different times throughout the year. These feature standard and narrow-gauge systems and visitors can travel behind authentic replicas of early 1800s steam locomotives at the Pockerley wagonway, an utterly unique experience.
The Beamish transport collection focuses on items of North East England manufacture or with strong local provenance. In the 1900s Town Garage can be found examples of the museum’s extensive collection of cars, motorcycles and cycles with representatives of local marques Armstrong Whitworth, N.U.T and Dene. Many of the items in the collection are regularly exercised around site and out on the highway supporting local transport events and other local museums and attractions. From Penny Farthings to vintage tractors, Model T Fords to Steam Rollers all can be seen in operation during special events throughout the year. A small fleet of vintage vehicles are used all year round and staff use vintage bicycles to travel around the large open-air site.
The museum collections are maintained in the Regional Heritage Engineering Centre using a mixture of paid staff and volunteers. Utilising this expertise has enabled, and continues to allow, the restoration of many unique items and the creation of replicas of long extinct locomotives. To find out more about the Beamish Transport collections follow the link to the Transport blog:- Beamish Transport Online