A MUSEUM is going back to its roots with an appeal for people to gift everyday and also special items from their lifetimes.
When the idea for a North of England open air museum at Beamish in County Durham gained momentum in the 1960s, founding director Frank Atkinson began a policy of unselective collecting.
“You offer, we collect’” was the slogan.
Now Beamish is to launch its Great Donate project when once again the people of the North East will be asked to share their history.
Throughout half-term week, from February 16 to 24, a Donation Station is opening in the Beamish Regional Resource Centre, so people can bring in their 20th Century items, especially those from the 1950s and 1980s, and pass them on to the museum.
Staff will collect any objects too big to carry, and vehicles and even buildings will be considered. People with items they want to donate should contact the museum on 0191 370 4000.
The Donation Station will be open 10am to 4pm during half-term week when a 1950s living room will be on show and visitors can try on 1950s clothes.
The first major step to a new section at the museum has been the acquisition of four Airey prefab houses from Kibblesworth in Gateshead and a trolley bus is being restored to take passengers to the planned 1950s settlement.
The February half-term also sees the culmination of a community project focused on the Category D villages of the 1951 County Durham Development Plan.
Staff have worked with groups and schools in Bishop Auckland, Crook and Spennymoor, looking at the impact of the plan which saw many villages left to die.
During half-term, the project will be celebrated and the 1950s brought to life in the museum’s pit village where costumed staff will cook recipes from the decade. The Category D project is part of Beamish’s Celebrating Community Heritage project and is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Throughout half-term, Beamish is open every day (including Monday and Friday) from 10am to 4pm and is offering special half-price day tickets for the whole week ... adult £8.75, children £5 and £6.50 for seniors and students.