Replica of sisters’ 1950s home to open at Beamish

Replica semi-detached council houses from Sunderland, police houses and office from Gateshead, and a bowling green from Billingham make up part of the museum’s 1950s Town.

This week, ‘living museum’ Beamish will open a new replica 1950s building as part of its Remaking Beamish project.

A new semi-detached council houses from Red House in Sunderland, police houses and office from Leam Lane in Gateshead, and a bowling green and pavilion from Billingham will be revealed in the 1950s town area.

The opening will see two sisters unveil a recreation of their childhood home. Linda Gilmore and Brenda O’Neill’s childhood home won a public vote to be copied after being nominated on behalf of their mother Esther Gibbon.

The sisters worked with the museum to recreate the semi-detached house they grew up in at Rochdale Road in Sunderland and they will officially open it to the public d on Friday, 9 June 2023.

The second semi-detached house will tell the story of Polish migration into the region following the Second World War.

Inside one of the Police Houses at Beamish Museum

Beamish has been working with Ray Malecki, whose late father Roman was born in Poland and settled in the North East after the war.

The new 1950s exhibits are part of the Remaking Beamish project, funded by £10.9m from The National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2016.

Rhiannon Hiles, Beamish’s Chief Executive, said: “It has been such an honour for the museum to work with families and communities to share these important stories of life in the region and preserve this heritage for future generations.

“A huge thank you to everyone who has been involved in this project and to The National Lottery Heritage Fund and all of our supporters and funders.

“We’re really looking forward to welcoming our visitors to explore the newest additions to Beamish.”