Beamish Open Air Museum

1128 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

August, 2018

Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with

On your own

Reasons for trip

Next to the Co-op building is the garage. Few people could afford to own a car and the showroom also has examples of bicycles and motor cycles. At the rear is the repair workshop.

A small parade of shops has been built round the corner from the garage. These include a chemist. The chemist was responsible for making all his own medicines (often of dubious efficacy and contents) and there are moulds for making different pills. As well as a dispensary the shop also includes an aerated water section and a photographic studio. Photography was becoming increasingly popular in the Edwardian era and visitors can still have their “photographs”: taken (appropriately dressed) using magnesium flash, side-lit studio window and props. All the equipment came from JR & D Edis shop in Durham when it closed in 1964. The link between the chemist and photography continued until the end of the C20th.

At the far end is Herron’s Bakery. Mining families would still make bread at home but middle classes moving to the suburbs were increasingly buying bread.

The shop still makes bread using traditional techniques but baked in an electric oven which was increasingly replacing wood or coal fired ovens. They run “courses”: in bread making. Their bread and cakes can be bought in the shop. Be prepared for long queues.

There is also a sweet shop selling sweets from glass jars. As well as old favourites like white mice and pear drops there are “others”: with more exotic names. The family lived above the shop. At the back of the shop was the factory. This still makes traditional sweets which are sold in the shop. For those wanting to try their hand, they also offer “courses”: courses in sweet making.

This is one of a series of detailed “reviews”: reviews I have written about Beamish.

A full account with all my pictures can be read “here.”:


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