Listening and Learning

Today I went to Beamish Museum to discover the mysteries and architecture of the Mining Industry. Then I met the Social Secretary Gemma Stevenson who introduced us to Hayley Scott a team member of the Marketing and Communications office. I enjoyed listening to Hayley talk about her role in Beamish. I liked the quote that she finished her interview on ‘go to the past, people do strange things there’.

After Hayley’s interview I then met a woman called Rosie who works in the collections department, I interviewed Rosie about Beamish’s role in conserving history and heritage. One of my questions was, why do think that conservation plays an important role in Beamish? I liked the answers that she conducted to my questions as she answered all of my queries about conservation. I was surprised to hear that some of the buildings had been knocked down brick by brick and transported to Beamish, to be reconstructed into exactly the same style and structure of the previous building.

When the interview with Rosie was over I met a gentleman called Jonathon Kinsleysides who was a fountain of knowledge ranging from the Birth of the Mining Industry to Community Life. One of the key points of information that I remembered after the visit was that during 1913 in County Durham there were 22,000 pit ponies working in the mines all over the County and 100,000 miners. I found this quite interesting because I originally thought that there would be a large number of miners employed across the country, but knowing that the 22,000 was only in County Durham is astonishing.

I learnt about the Birth of Mining Industry, Industrial Revolution, Health and Safety and Community Life. After listening to Jonathon I am inspired to learn more about the Dean and Chapter Colliery even after the project is completed. I then ventured out into the past and stumbled across an old pit village, where I met some costumed volunteers and staff. I found the interview with them very informative because it helped me create a better understanding of community life in 1800-1900s. I was even given the amazing opportunity to participate in a demonstration on how proggie mats were made. I even found out that the newest mat would be arranged on the bed and depending on how old the mat was they would be placed all around the flooring meaning No More Cold Stone Under-Foot!

After that we headed to the nearby church in the street called PitField. I enjoyed going inside the church and seeing the similarities between churches today and back then in the 1900s.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Beamish Museum and found out a lot of interesting facts about our heritage in County Durham.

Gracie, Youth Committee
Friday, June 30, 2017