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Friends' logo: simple coal wagon.The Friends of Beamish Museum.

Frequently Asked Questions.

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List of Typical Questions We Get Asked.

1. Membership.

2. Volunteering.


4. Other Questions are occasionally asked about:

  • Paid seasonal work at Beamish Museum.
  • Customer service matters.
  • Opening and closing times and entrance charges etc.
  • Special Museum events.
  • Group, educational and corporate bookings and concessions.
  • Brochures and guidebooks.
  • Complaint procedures.

For prompt response, these questions should be addressed to the management of Beamish Museum. But first, check the official Beamish Museum. website for answers.


The Friends of Beamish: Membership.

How can I contact the Friends' Office?

If you have a question not covered by this Frequently Asked Questions page or would like to speak to an officer of the Friends then the simplest way is to Contact Us by letter or email.

This will go directly to the Friends' Office to be dealt with by the appropriate person. But please note that we are only available at the weekends.


What is "The Friends of Beamish" organisation?

The Friends is a Registered Charity and a Limited Company governing its own affairs through a Board of Directors which works closely with the Museum staff. Representatives sit on the Joint Committee, which is responsible for the development and management of the Museum. The Friends are affiliated to the British Association of Friends of Museums.
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What do they do?

Many of our members support the work of the Friends simply from their subscriptions and gifts, while others who live near to the Museum also enjoy being directly involved as volunteer workers. The Friends' subscriptions are used to make purchases for the Museum and pay for restoration of important items from the past.

All members make a valuable contribution to the success of Beamish Museum.
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What is the difference between the Friends of Beamish and the Beamish Unlimited Pass ?

The Beamish Unlimited Pass is run by the Beamish Museum strictly for people who want cheap visits to the Museum throughout the year.
The Friends of Beamish are an independent group open to members from all parts of this country and other countries throughout the world.
Friends of Beamish share a concern for the preservation of the North East of England heritage and an interest in the artifacts and history as represented by the Museum. They show their love of the Museum by volunteering, if they live close at hand, in restoration work or dressing in costume to assist the museum staff.
All Friends help support a popular newsletter and social events whenever possible or simply give support through their donations and membership fees.

Who are the members?

The members number around two thousand and are people from all walks of life, who live throughout Britain and overseas, who want the museum to grow and to preserve their heritage.
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How can I help support their work?

You can support us by simply becoming a member of The Friends of Beamish. Join now. Gifts and legacies are always of tremendous value to our work at Beamish Museum and if you can contribute in this way please contact the Projects Director.
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How do I join the Friends of Beamish?

Use the online printable forms or contact the Friends Office to ask for an application form.
See the Membership Page.
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Is there "Family membership"?

Yes a family of 2 adults and 2 Junior or student members may have family membership. Other family combinations require separate memberships but still a bargain. It's mix and match: for example a family of two adults and three children would require family membership plus a separate junior membership for one of the children.
See the Membership Page.
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How about Single Parent families, Partners, and Senior Citizen Partners?

YES! all covered in the family membership which is exclusive to the FRIENDS' organisation only.
See the Membership Page.
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How much will it cost to join?

There are a number of types of membership including Junior, Adult, Senior Citizen and Partners and Family. For the current membership fees
see the Membership Page.
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Can I join online?

Sorry membership is by post only at present, not online, and to obtain an application form please contact the Friends Office.
You can also obtain on this website an appropriate printable membership application form to send by post.
See the Membership Page.
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What do I get for my subscription?

All Friends of Beamish Museum enjoy unlimited admission to the Museum for the life of their membership. They get FREE tram, locomotive and bus rides and free Parking. In fact no extra charges except for rides at the Victorian Fairground.

Feel personally involved in the success of this exciting project - BEAMISH! Keep in touch through regular magazines. Join in the outings to other museums and places of interest and the talks from visiting speakers during the Winter. Membership lasts for twelve months from the date of joining.
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What if I don't live locally?

If you live in another part of the UK you still have the satisfaction of knowing that your subscription is going towards the valuable work of the Friends at the Museum. Plus, you can look forward to the postman delivering your quarterly Magazine, helping you to keep up to date with the Friends' activities and read their interesting stories.
Tip: Why not time your visit to coincide with a Friends' activity such as the special Christmas Treat or Special guided tour around Beamish Museum or a Friday Lecture on local history?

Special treat: let us know if you are visiting the Museum during a weekend and it may be possible to arrange a trip around the Project Workshop to see the current restorations we are carrying out on vehicles and other vintage items.

JOIN THE FRIENDS BEFORE YOUR FIRST VISIT then you won't have to pay anything at the entrance with your free admission for the whole year. See the Membership Page.
You can't at present join the Friends of Beamish at the museum reception on the day you visit.

Tip: Some Friends from other parts of the country spend a whole weekend in the North East spreading their visit to the museum over a couple of days. There's a lot to see so why try to rush round in a single day?
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What if I live in another country?

Tip: To save money you should JOIN THE FRIENDS BEFORE YOUR VISIT to the UK then you won't have to pay any admission charges to Beamish Open Air Museum for the whole period of your visit. This means that you can spread your visits to Beamish Museum over the period of your stay in this country.

If you live in another part of the world you still have the satisfaction of knowing that your subscription is going towards the valuable work of the Friends at the Museum. Plus, you will receive the quarterly Friends' Magazine, helping you to keep up to date with the Friends' activities and read their interesting stories.
Tip: Why not time your visit to coincide with a Friends' activity such as the special Christmas Treat or Special guided tour around Beamish Museum or a Friday Lecture on local history?

Special treat: let us know when you are visiting the Museum and it may be possible to arrange a trip around the Project Workshop to see the current restorations we are carrying out on vehicles and other vintage items.
Find details of becoming a Friend of Beamish on the Membership Page..
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Are there any group membership schemes for clubs or businesses?

Sorry. There are no such schemes available from the Friends of Beamish. The only type of membership we offer are for individuals, partners and family. The full time Museum staff should be contacted about group, school and corporate schemes and events planning. Visit the Official Museum Website for current contact details.
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The Friends of Beamish: Volunteering.

What do Volunteers do?

Some volunteers use their skills to restore exhibits which have included horse vehicles, bicycles, engines, clocks, steam engines, farm equipment and tramcars. Others look after the administration work of the Friends Office or assist permanent staff in the Resource Centre compiling the items and photographic database on the Museum computer.

An increasing number work in costume helping to interpret the Museum for the visitors, and some do promotional work in costume publicising the Museum.

A group of Friends meet during the week to sew garments for the Museum. Others work on the button collection or make traditional quilts for the Museum. There's always work for willing hands at Beamish.

There are also thriving groups focused on the tramway, on historical model engineering and on gardening and environmental activities.
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What skills will I need?

Brian was an accountant before he joined us as a volunteer now he is a valuable member of the woodworking team doing restoration work of a high standard. Whilst we do need traditional craftsmen who are masters of their trade we also need others who are interested in learning new skills and become part of a team whatever their past experience .

New volunteer Bruce says he has no practical experience whatsoever but he is becoming a dab hand with a paint brush.

Some volunteer jobs such as the making of garments require some dressmaking experience and the use of sewing machines whereas costume volunteers and administration volunteers require no specific experience as they will be given training by the Museum staff.

At an initial interview with the Volunteer Co-ordinator, your past experience and interests will be discussed so that your valuable time as a volunteer can be best utilised for the benefit of the Friends and their work for the Museum.
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I want to be a volunteer. Do I have to join the Friends?

To apply to be a Volunteer Friend you don't have to be a member of the Friends of Beamish. But, If your application is accepted then you will be given free membership of the Friends and continue to be a member as long as you are a volunteer.


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Is there an age limit for volunteering?

Certainly not. Volunteers' ages range from teenage to old age with each seeking the reward of satisfaction in their own way. Many of them well past retirement age.

However volunteers under 16 years must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
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Will I be paid as a volunteer?

Sorry there is no salary involved. Most volunteers do the work for love of the Museum and the satisfaction one gets from working as a team following the tradition and skills of the Region.
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Join the Friends.

More than just free visits when the Museum is open. See the extra benefits to you and your family. Printable application form available.

Join NOW!

Become a Friend of Beamish. No matter where you live. You don't have to live locally to join The Friends.


Lend a Hand, Learn a Skill.

We always need volunteers to give a few hours, especially at the weekend, to assist with the work carried out by The Friends of Beamish Museum.
Lend a hand.

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