Week in Review: 6th - 12th July 20 and Museum Reopenings

Hi everyone! Thanks for bearing with us this past week, last week there wasn't as much new content to show and things were slightly hectic so we thought best not to grasp at straws. However this week has been much more active, not just for the website but for local history in the north east as a whole!

As lockdown has been lifting, a lot of our museums have been announcing their reopening, which means a proper day out again! I thought I would take the time this week to highlight some local museums which deserve our time to go visit and support them during this difficult time. We'll also highlight a few of the new features added this week.


We have to start with Beamish Museum, one of the North East's most beloved museums. On June 24th, they announced they were reopening on the 23rd July with COVID restrictions in place, such as pre-booked time slots, additional health and hygiene measures and exhibits that can only be open adhering to COVID guidelines. Take a look on the website here.


The Tanfield Railway near Gateshead has already reopened its Tommy Armstrong Tea Rooms at East Tanfield. This historic heritage railway is a small volunteer led line in need of our help. Obviously they've had to shut due to COVID but also recently were victims of theft, after thieves stole £20k worth of materials reserved for the restoration of one of their historic locomotives. They're also currently fundraising for their Coronavirus Appeal. This will enable them to reopen and continue to preserve their beautiful locomotives in the future. I have embedded a link above to donate to their Coronavirus Appeal, but why not visit their tea rooms as well? It means you get a nice day out and they get a few pennies in the process.


The Old Low Light Heritage Centre at North Shields has recently published the results of an online survey to gauge people's intentions of visiting the space. With social distancing and other COVID guidelines in place there does seem to be steps to reopen, and hopefully will be in the near future, most notably online talks, guided walks and self guided tours. Guy Moody, the Centre Director, has issued the article on their website.


Jarrow Hall recently published its intentions to reopen on the 18th July. Entry will have to be paid for in advance online, and the Bede museum will be closed, however the open spaces of The Farm and the Anglo Saxon Village will be open to visitors. Additional measures will be undertaken to ensure COVID guidelines are met, and we can't wait to go!


Finally, the North East Land, Sea and Air Museums in Washington are due to reopen on Tuesday 21st July. They have advised there will be temp checks, details needed for Track & Trace and the encouragement of contactless payments. With these measures in place it'd be great to have a visit to this understated museum and have a nice explore and day out. They are also in the process of a fundraiser to continue to preserve a Vulcan XL319, their main attraction. They are in need of £5000 and are pretty close to £4000. If aviation and military history is your thing, if you can maybe donate a few pounds to enable our heritage industry in the north east to continue.


Here's a few of the interesting things we've added to the website this week:

Bedlington Iron Works - A historic ironworks and locomotive builders on the banks of the River Blyth which exported Railway stock to the UK and Europe. It was abandoned in the mid 19th century but stood derelict all the way into the 1950s.

Egyptian Pyramid Fragment, Penshaw - There is a fragment of the Pyramid of Giza in a small parish church in Penshaw. This was thanks to a gentleman named George Elliot, an associate of Benjamin Disraeli and eventually financial advisor to Khedive of Egypt. He was given it as a gift, and had it incorporated into the church.

Crash Site of Bristol Beaufort L9797, Ashington - On Fifth Row, Ashington there was a plane crash in World War Two after the RAF undertook a bombing Raid in Ghent overnight. On its return the aircraft fell out of the sky and landed on the property, killing three members of the Cox Family and 2 of the operatives inside the plane.