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Beamish can be virtually viewed around the world

Virtual visitors from around the world can explore the North East’s most popular museum since Beamish has been added to Google Street View.

Beamish brings the region’s past to life - but the latest 21st century technology has been used to capture 360? panoramic images of the County Durham open air museum.

The Google Street View car and a trekker, carrying a special backpack camera, toured the period areas including 1820s Pockerley Old Hall and Waggonway, 1900s Town, Fairground, 1900s Pit Village and 1940s Farm.

The work was part of Street View’s Special Collects Programme, which provides panoramic imagery of unique locations across the world including museums, heritage monuments and national parks.

Among the famous landmarks and world heritage sites captured for the project are the Taj Mahal in India, the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

The trekker device records places that vehicles cannot reach and was first used to capture the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

The Beamish Street View images can be found here


Artist Norman Cornish’s studio donated to Beamish

Beamish has received the art collection of the last surviving painter from the Spennymoor Settlement, which became known as the “Pitman’s Academy”.

Norman Cornish, a painter who spent three decades working in the mines, died, aged 94, in August 2014. The studio from his Spennymoor home was donated to Beamish just months before his death and includes dozens of unfinished works, as well as his chair, easels, paint pots, brushes and other objects.

Some of the objects, including replicas of his unfinished work, are now on display in the Open Stores in the Museum’s Regional Resource Centre.

We are lucky enough to have been working with Norman’s family over the past year. This has given us a unique perspective into Norman’s life and we are extremely grateful that his family has so kindly donated such wonderful pieces of history to Beamish.

Norman captured everyday life in the North East, from men working in the pits to women gossiping in the back lanes, which we hope to share with people through our own 1950s developments in the future.

We want to tell the fascinating story of how men, such as Norman, and women joined organisations like the Spennymoor Settlement, the Ashington Group and others to represent their lives through media such as painting and writing.

– Kate Reeder, Head of Social History and Collections Management at Beamish
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