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June Press Reports 2007.

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This Months Press Releases.

The Archive contains press reports issued from the Museum, or reports and articles about the Museum from the national or local press or other media sources for the February 2006.

North East Police History Society Exhibition at Beamish

Saturday & Sunday, 30th June & 1st July 2007
Over the weekend of 30th June and 1st July, Beamish visitors can learn about the history of the Special Constabulary, thanks to a fascinating exhibition produced by the North East Police History Society.

The exhibition, in the Museum's Regional Resource Centre, looks at the history and development of this branch of the police force. Visitors will also be able to see costumes worn by the Special Constabulary.
The 'Specials' have been an integral part of policing in Britain for many years, but particularly came to prominence during the two world wars when regulars were conscripted into the armed forces, and the volunteer Special Constabulary took over their duties. Today the Special Constabulary provide an instant and effective back up to the police whenever the need arises.

The Police History Society is currently storing their collection at the Regional Resource Centre as part of the Heritage Cubes project.
This unique project is a joint initiative by Beamish and Tyne & Wear Museums. It offers free storage to local groups that have a collection of objects that they wish to keep in museum standard facilities.
Local history groups interested in finding out more about Heritage Cubes can contact the Beamish Collections Access Team on 0191 370 4000.

Cars, Cycles And Commercial Vehicles At Beamish

Sunday, 1st July 2007
The Beamish Events Field will be brimming with more than 200 vehicles of all shapes, sizes and types on Sunday, 1st July 2007. Dating from the 1920s to the mid-1980s, cars, commercial vehicles, motor bikes and cycles will be on display.

There'll be something at the rally to catch the eye of everyone. Entrants range from police cars and ambulances to a bubble car and even a 'triplet' - a three-seater pedal cycle ! In between will be a wide variety of road transport, with appearances by motorised stars of several television dramas, including Heartbeat and The Royal.

The Rally is organised by the Sunderland & District Classic Vehicles Society, whose members will be travelling to Beamish from throughout the region especially for the Event. It's hoped that there'll be guest vehicles too, with entrants travelling from far and wide specially to take part .


Beamish was presented with a major national Award at a glittering ceremony in the Radisson SAS Portman Hotel in London last Friday. The Museum won 'Best UK Attraction for Group Visits - Long Visit' at the 2007 Group Travel Awards, ahead of runner-up The Eden Project and finalists including The Alnwick Garden, Alton Towers, Blenheim Palace and Leeds Castle. This is the second consecutive year that Beamish has won this prestigious title, moreover the Museum has won it no less than five times since 2000.

These national Awards are arranged by Group Travel Organiser Magazine and nominees in twenty six categories are voted for by readers of the magazine. The Museum is particularly proud to receive this Award since the voters are Group Travel Organisers who have personal experience of Beamish themselves and placed it ahead of the competition. The Awards aim to cover all types of group travel trade suppliers and recognise the effort put in by those who work within the industry in meeting their customers' needs.

Hearing the wonderful news, Miriam Harte, Director of Beamish said "We are proud to receive the Award, it's a great accolade for the Museum and all of the staff. This is the fifth time that Beamish has won this prestigious Award, proving that we are consistently giving our visitors a first class day out, maintaining our standards and meeting our customers' expectations. We hope that this will help to raise awareness of Beamish and bring even more coach trips to the Museum and to our region."

Group visits to Beamish have steadily grown since the mid-1980s - the number of visitors arriving in coach groups has increased from 15,000 in 1985 to almost 50,000 in 2006. Many of these groups visit North East England on short break holidays, bringing valuable business to hotels and other tourist attractions in the region.


Dig Into The Past At Beamish

Saturday & Sunday, 14th & 15th July 2007
Dig into the Past, an Award-winning event, takes place at Pockerley Manor, Beamish on Saturday and Sunday, 14th and 15th July 2007. A host of happenings from the early 1800s are on offer for visitors to see and try.

Find out about 'herbs in the home' - the culinary, medicinal and household uses of familiar (and not so familiar) herbs. See demonstrations of herb strewing - the sprinkling of aromatic herbs to burnish wooden floors and give a pleasant fragrance to the home. In the parlour, costumed staff practice calligraphy with quill pens and ink and demonstrate the making of lavender favours.

In the 'old house', there's the chance to see rush light making, the poor man's alternative to tallow or beeswax candles, or to watch the art of wool spinning. Outside in the Horse Yard and garden, craftsmen demonstrate pole lathing and make garden structures and hurdles.

For the first time ever at this event there is the unique opportunity for visitors to participate in an archaeological dig - the excavation of the site of a wooden barn at Hammer Forge, near Beamish Burn. Evidence of wooden post holes has already been uncovered on the site and it is hoped that more information will be unearthed during the weekend.

More energetic visitors can take a short guided walk with costumed staff around the beautiful Georgian landscape surrounding Pockerley Manor. The landscape tours incorporate the colliery horse gin and wooden waggonway which have been developed using archaeological evidence from around the region. The guided walks offer a unique opportunity to view normally unseen areas of the Museum.

On both Saturday and Sunday, a stimulating supporting exhibition is on view in the Beamish Regional Resource Centre. As well as static displays on the history of Pockerley and the and the archaeology of the Museum, there are archaeological finds to examine, early 1800s artefacts to handle and even a selection of costume of the day, including hats, gaiters and fichus, for visitors to model !

Beamish interpretation staff are supported and assisted throughout this fascinating event by an enthusiastic team of costumed volunteers. 'Dig into the Past' is an annual Event, sponsored by Northumbrian Water and organised in conjunction with a national campaign by the Council for British Archaeology.

Triumph Stag Day At Beamish

Sunday, 22nd July 2007
Triumph Stag Car Day at Beamish takes place on Sunday, 22nd July 2007. Members of the Stag Owners Club, young and old alike, in beautifully presented Triumph Stags, are travelling to the Award-winning Museum from throughout the north of England for the Event. Invited guests include other Triumph car clubs and on display alongside the Stags will be gleaming Spitfires, TRs and Triumph Heralds - motoring nostalgia from the 1950s, 60s and 70s

It is hoped that up to 100 splendid examples of motoring history will be on view to Beamish visitors throughout the day. There'll be a ballot amongst members (and visitors too, if they wish to take part) for 'The Car You'd Most Like to Drive Home'. The proud owner of the winning car will hold, for one year, the Rimmer Brothers cup and will also receive a small replica of the cup to keep.

The Stag Owners Club is probably the largest single-model car club in Britain and has around 6000 members world-wide. The Triumph Stag first went on sale in June 1970 at a cost of £2156. A direct descendant of the Triumph 2000, the Triumph Stag became a 4 seat Grand Tourer with a 3000cc V8 engine and could be used as a roadster, convertible or, with a hard top, a coupe. Sadly, Stag production ceased in 1977. Of a grand total of 25,939 cars produced, it is thought that more than half that number still survive.

The Stag Owners Club are supporting a local charity at this year's Event - the Great North Air Ambulance. Representatives from the Great North Air Ambulance will attend the Event with a static display and information.

Cleveland Bay Awareness Day At Beamish

Saturday, 21st July 2007
Splendid horses will be the focus of Cleveland Bay Awareness Day on Saturday, 21st July 2007 at Beamish, the Award-winning County Durham museum.

The Museum's magnificent 22 year old Cleveland Bay stallion, Traquair Jason, will be paraded as a 'Travelling Stallion' with his handler dressed in period costume. To demonstrate the versatility of the breed, the second stallion from the Beamish stud, 8 year old Beamish Cheeky Charlie, will be shown under saddle, his rider suitably attired in an early 1900s riding outfit.

Visitors can see Cleveland Bay mares and foals from the Beamish stud, along with visiting mares, in the fields around Pockerley Manor. During the afternoon, there's the chance to learn more about the Beamish Cleveland Bays from Beamish Horseman, Peter Brassett. In the stable yard at Pockerley Manor there will be a static display of photographs and information about these fine horses and their regional importance.

In recent years the Cleveland Bay has been designated as a Category 1 (critical) rare breed by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and much has been done to ensure that these magnificent horses do not disappear completely. Cleveland Bays are increasingly successful as competition horses in many equine disciplines and are integral to the recently developed Georgian Landscape at Beamish.

Georgian Fair At Beamish - Saturday 4th August 2007
Napoleonic Muster Saturday and Sunday, 4th and 5th August 2007

The hustle and bustle of a wonderful Georgian Country Fair will be recreated at Pockerley Manor, Beamish from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 4th August 2007. At the start of the day a Northumbrian piper will lead out the Squire of Pockerley, who'll cast his eye over the craftsmen, trinket sellers and entertainers gathered there and declare the proceedings open. Then the merriment will begin.

There will be authentic tents from the early 1800s with demonstrations of corn dolly making, pole lathing and wooden bowl making. A fire-eater will thrill the crowd with spectacular feats of daring and musicians will entertain with popular music of the day. Strolling through the Fair will be pedlars, with wares for everyone - gilded gingerbread as a show of wealth, lavender favours for loved ones and pretty ribbons to adorn the ladies' hair (or the hats of unsuspecting military recruits). There'll be traditional market stalls too, one selling a selection of the plants growing in Pockerley gardens.

An extra attraction at the Fair will be gurning -the art of pulling grotesque faces through a horse's collar. Such face-pulling contests were once common entertainment at fairs and gatherings throughout the country. Costumed Beamish staff will make bizarre and ugly faces and invite visitors to join in the fun.

Adding to the atmosphere and excitement on Saturday and Sunday, 4th and 5th August, a group of Wellington's Redcoats will demonstrate just how life really was for soldiers almost two hundred years ago.

Throughout the weekend, Durham Light Infantry Society and Display Team, in authentic military uniforms, will make camp at Pockerley Manor. In this truly appropriate setting, dating back to the time of the Napoleonic Wars, there'll be the excitement of musket firing - demonstrations of the ranked musket volleys which defeated Napoleon's army and displays of bayonet and punishment drill. And, of course, along with the campfires and cooking, there'll be the camp followers, the wives and children who followed the soldiers throughout the campaigns.



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