Beamish Museum announces programme of events

Beamish Museum has announced its 2018 programme of events.

Whether you’re serious about steam, crazy about cars or hooked on horses, Beamish Museum’s programme of events in 2018 has something on offer for everyone.

The list of fantastic festivals and exciting events gets underway for February Half Term.

QUEENS OF THE MACHINES – February Half Term 10th to 18th February: Queens of the Machines, Women at War commemorates the amazing contribution women made to the war effort during the First World War.  With hands-on activities for families to try, it’s a wonderful opportunity to experience the many roles women filled whilst men went off to war.

The week-long event includes the story of Rachel Parsons, daughter of Tyneside industrialist Charles Parsons, who oversaw the recruitment and training of the new female workers in her father’s steam turbine factory in wartime. After the war Rachel was required, along with all women employed during the war, to give up her new role to make way for the men returning home.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY – 8th, 10th and 11th March: Join in with Suffragette rallies in The 1900s Town and find out about the role of women in the 1820s, 1900s and 1940s around the museum.

EASTER FUN AT BEAMISH – 30th March to 2nd April: Enjoy a cracking day out at Beamish this Easter with lots of egg-citing activities. Take part in an Easter egg trail, see (and taste!) traditional Easter baking, make an Easter card, an Easter bonnet or a finger puppet, paint an egg and take part in the egg-rolling.

PEDAL POWER – 24th and 25th March: The Great North Festival of Transport gets underway with Pedal Power, a brand new event for 2018. The whole museum will come alive with wonderful inventions, contraptions and vehicles, from tricycles and bicycles to dentist drills and sewing machines – all pedal-powered.

THE GREAT WAR STEAM FAIR – 5th to 8th April: The annual, and famous, steam fair this year becomes the Great War Steam Fair, renamed for the centenary of the end of the First World War. This fantastic four-day event is set to feature a whole host of road vehicles, engines and trains from the period up to 1918.

HORSES AT WAR – 13th to 15th April: An amazing 60 horses, from pit ponies to pack horses, will be at Beamish for Horses at War. This fabulous event is packed with all things equine, from the 16th Lancers Cavalry Unit, to magnificent horse-drawn vehicles and much more.

MAY DAY – 6th and 7th May: Join us in The Pit Village for a host of May Day activities, including the crowning of the May King and Queen, music, Maypole dancing and crafts.

EMPIRE AND FLAG DAYS – 19th and 20th May:  Beamish is telling the story of Flag Days, as part of its First World War commemorations. Flag days were held to raise money for causes including soldiers on the front line, prisoners of war and support for disabled servicemen. Combined with Empire Weekend, this will include a grand parade of around 1,500 young people representing youth groups and organisations around the region.

GEORGIAN FAIR – 31st May to 3rd June: The hustle and bustle of this typical country fair at Pockerley Waggonway includes pedlars, entertainers, strolling musicians and craftsmen and women.

RELIABILITY RUN – 17th June: Starting and finishing at the museum, a 150-mile run though Durham and North Yorkshire for vehicles registered before 1956.

OLD KING COAL – 27th June to 1st July: The annual celebration of the great mining heritage of the North East, Old King Coal, moves to a new summer slot in 2018. There are fantastic banner parades to join in, craft activities and wonderful performances from local brass bands.

FESTIVAL OF 50s – 12th to 15th July: Dance the day away to live music, treat yourself to a 50s hairdo or simply enjoy a milkshake in the sun at the Festival of 50s. Be transported to the days of rock ‘n’ roll and Teddy boys, Pathé News and petticoats.

SUMMER OF FUN – 21st July to 29th August: Summer holidays packed with something for everyone to join in, every single day.

DIG FOR VICTORY – 30th August to 2nd September: The first event in the five-week long Great North Festival of Agriculture, telling the story of the rich rural heritage of the North East. Help the war effort at our 1940s Farm – learn to drill with the Home Guard, meet Land Girls and Lumberjills and enjoy a dance or two with a swing band.

LEEK SHOW – 8th and 9th September: Pack up your potatoes and bring your beetroot to enter the Leek Show.  The hotly-contested event sees visitors, staff and volunteers enter their home-grown produce, plus a grand charity auction of entries to close the event.

AGRICULTURAL SHOW – 13th to 16th September: A typical country show from the early 1900s, with exciting demonstrations in the show ring, craftsmen and women demonstrating their skills and livestock and agricultural machinery on view.

HANDS-ON HERITAGE SKILLS – 22nd and 23rd September: Get hands-on with a whole host of fantastic heritage skills at The 1940s Farm and Pockerley.

HARVEST FESTIVAL & HARVEST HOME – 29th and 30th September: A celebration of the safe gathering of the harvest.

CHRISTMAS AT BEAMISH  – 17th November to 24th December: Discover the amazing seasonal sights, sounds, smells and delicious tastes of Christmas past. Visit Father Christmas in his cosy Grotto, meet his friendly reindeer and enjoy tasty yuletide food. Visit the beautifully decorated homes and stroll around the Christmas Bazaar to find traditional gifts and trinkets. Take a spin on the real ice rink, have a ride at the Fairground or try your hand at the sideshows at the Winter Fun Fair.

Paul Foster, Beamish’s Historic Events Officer, said: “We’re looking forward to a packed programme of events for 2018. Along with perennial favourites like the Great War Steam Fair and Festival of 50s, we have some new brand new additions for this year too – make sure you use your Unlimited Pass to come and enjoy them!”

There are no extra charges for daytime events at Beamish and Unlimited Passes, giving free admission for a whole year, can be used. For more information visit