Beamish 50th Anniversary Jubilee Celebrations

2020 is a very special year for Beamish, The Living Museum of the North as it celebrates its Golden Jubilee.  

Beamish Museum was founded in 1970 by the museum’s first director, Frank Atkinson, with the purpose of preserving the heritage of the North East and its people for future generations.

Due to the dramatic change Frank was seeing within the region, including the decline of industries such as coal mining, shipbuilding, and the effect it was having on local communities, he wanted to ensure that the everyday way of life in the region was preserved. Frank wanted to ensure that people in the future could experience the everyday life for themselves, including customs, traditions and dialect.

Inspired by Scandinavian folk museums he had visited in the 1950s, Frank set out to collect and create an open-air museum. The museum began, with the generous public donating everyday objects, ranging from sewing machines to steam engines. The museum as we know it today was founded in 1970, when the first staff, including Frank Atkinson, took up their roles at the nearby Beamish Hall. 

Since the museum’s humble beginnings in the 1970s, the museum has now become the region’s most visited attraction! Beamish welcomes more than 750,000 visitors every year from across the globe and has more than 500 staff and 500 volunteers. 

Throughout 2020 Beamish Museum will be celebrating its 50th anniversary with a host of exciting events and fascinating exhibitions the whole family can enjoy. The Golden Jubilee celebrations will kick off during February Half Term (15 to 23 February), when visitors can join the birthday parties happening across the museum and pick up fabulous 50th anniversary souvenirs to take home. 

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