We visited Beamish Museum in November last year but did not get a chance to look around all of it. When you buy a ticket for Beamish Museum you are entitled to come back for free at any time for a year after your tickets were purchased. We have been meaning to go back for a while now and this weekend we did. This time we knew which parts we wanted to visit and headed straight for them instead of browsing the whole museum, but we were still left with parts we haven’t seen so may well go back again. This time the weather was much nicer, last time it was a little cold.
Transport around the Museum is by vintage tram or bus, this time it was warm enough to sit on the open top of the tram. We decided that we would make straight for the pit village and colliery. Last time we visited we had really fancied trying some of the fish and chips which are made using dripping on a coal fired oven. The queues were incredibly large so we missed out. We thought if we went there first we would be at the start of the queue. We headed straight for the chip shop and we were right, the queues were not that long. There are two parts to the chip shop, this was the part we got to see first.
It was not in use but we got to see the cooker used clearly as the people were not standing in front of it cooking. In the second section the fish and chips were being cooked. On the left hand side the fish were being fried, you can just see the fire in the oven.
The metal dishes on the table contained the portions of fish and chips ready to be fried, neatly covered with clothes. The man would keep bringing out new portions as they were used up. On the right is the fryer for the chips. This photo shows the lady filling up the coal bucket.
The fish and chips were served in cone shaped greaseproof paper wrapped in paper printed to look like newspaper. We still had a good thirty minutes wait but it was worth it, the fish and chips were delicious. My husband and son had a look round the colliery while I waited in the queue so the time was not wasted. These are the fish and chips, its a bit dark as my flash did not work.
After lunch we decided to head back into the town centre. We had visited the town previously but had not gone into all the shops on the main street. We hopped back on the bus getting off at the right stop. There is a wide range of different shops and houses in the town, it is like stepping back in time. First we went into the stables where there is an amazing selection of the carts they used to use.
It disappeared while we were looking inside the stables which was a shame as I would have loved a ride on the cart. We then visited some of the shops we had missed last time we went to the museum. Firstly the sweet shop.
It was hard to get a decent photo as unsurprisingly it was packed. It was lovely to see all the bottles of sweets arranged on the shelves, the way a sweet shop should be. I hadn’t realised there is another section at the back where the sweets are made.
We also looked in the hardware shop where my son was fascinated to see the large cooking pots they used in those days and also the tin baths. We explained they had to fill the baths up with water heated up on the fire and the water would have been shared by a few people.
Next we went into the clothing store, the detail on the children’s boots was amazing and it was also interesting to see that the shirts and collars were sold separately. I guess this was for ease of washing or because the collars wear out before the shirts. Rolls of material were also in view, I suspect a lot more people made their own clothes in those days.
Finally the grocers shop which I think is fabulous and the way all shops should be. I love the scales and the set of weights and measures for weighing goods out.
My son was very intrigued as to why they would be selling broken biscuits. We tried to explain that this was a cheap way for families to get biscuits which they would not have been able to afford otherwise but he was not impressed.
We had spent quite a long time at the museum at this stage so decided to call it a day and go home. Once again it was a fascinating day, but we still have parts that we would like to visit as we have not seen them yet. You definitely need to spend more than a day here to see everything but it is well worth a trip.
This post will tell you all about my first visit to Beamish Museum and you can see the photos of the parts I visited then.