Hoop Rolling at Beamish!
It was time to leave Northumbria today, and our excellent airbnb in Alnmouth. We set off early so that we would arrive at Beamish Museum just about at opening time. We began by exploring the Pit Village including seeing a demonstration of the winding gear for the pithead and walking down in to a drift mine. When we reached the seam at the end of the tunnel (Marketa and Tomas almost bent double down the entire length!) the informative guide switched off the light so that we could experience how dark it would be for the miners to work with just the weak light from the Davy Lamp - horrendous conditions. I never tire of Beamish which is so creatively presented, but it is the local people, dressed in period costume, who make it. They are so friendly, knowledgeable and so proud of their part of the country and their heritage, even at the end of the day when they have answered the same questions over and over.
We missed the tram...again... and so walked down to the town for lunch in the Coop tearoom, stopping to ride on the Gallopers in the fairground, something I haven't done since a child, great fun! Fortified by sausages in gravy in torpedo rolls (!) it was time to explore the houses and businesses in the recreated town. My favourite is always the grocery shop because it takes me right back to my childhood with its tin boxes of biscuits; paper bags of sugar; the smell of coffee and molasses....The hardware store is an Aladdin's Cave of wonderful objects from the past, redolent with the aroma of carbolic soap!
As is usual at Beamish, there are never enough hours to see everything so it was time to catch the motorbus back to the entrance and to head for home. A great end to our few days in the north east, enjoyed with our friends Marketa and Tomas.
My blip is of Marketa in the school playground mastering the tricky skill of hoop rolling!