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Friends' logo: simple coal wagon. Friends of Beamish Museum.

Beamish Buzz (Archive 1)

Previous Beamish Buzz Items (Archived).

Hope You Didn't Miss "Power from the Past"!

Photograph: group of people looking at an exhibition of machines.

Each year, about this time, the Friends hold an exhibition "Power from the Past" consisting of meticulously restored motorcycles, bicycles, horse drawn vehicles and stationary engines. All the exhibits on show have been returned to their former glory by a special group of volunteers from the Friends of Beamish membership.


Questions from the Email Tray.

If you can help solve either of these mysteries please email to
i n f o @ f r i e n d s o f b e a m i s h. c o. u k.


Question 1: Have You More Information about This Tandem?

Photograph: tandum bicycle.

Photograph: New Hudson tandem bike.

Two bicycle questions in the email intray this week.
No. 1

"I've just found your website (very interesting indeed!). I'm not a member but I was hoping you could help me with some information. I recently bought a very old New Hudson tandem bike (apparently from the 1930's).

I will have to restore it entirely but before starting I'm trying to find information about this bike and this brand. I attach a picture of the bike with this mail. I would totally understand if you can't/don't have time to help me, but I would really appreciate having some information. Thanks a lot for your time"


Question 2: Can You Solve the Bicycle in the Barn Mystery?

Photograph: Rusty bicycle.

See Larger Photograph.

We have been contacted to ask about a mystery bike under restoration:

"This is a genuine barn find bicycle, totally rusted up solid which I've now fully dismantled and am now rebuilding. The frame is 24inches I haven't a clue as to it's make, nor it's year of manufacture but I'd make a guess between late 1890's and 1910.
Has anyone any suggestions as to it's maker, or possible age please ?
The frame has a serial number 42178M.
There's a serial number 40280 on the top face of the handlebar stem.

The wheels are 28ins x 1 1/2in and it has only a lift up rim brake [rod operated] on the front wheel. The brake blocks look original pink rubber. The rear wheel has only a back-pedal / coaster brake. It's so rusty that there's no maker's name. The bottom bracket has a serial number 6K on the underside and the crank axle cups are held in place with a pair of small cotter pins. The cups and axle are by Brampton.

The [Williams ?] chainwheel has a bolted-on outer ring. An embossed message on the bottom head tube cup states that Reynolds tubing has been used throughout. The flat top fork crown was itself originally nickel plated."


News, Views, Comments and Articles.

History of the Mining Industry.

photograph: Pithead with a locomotive engine.

Beamish Museum is planning to use the Heritage Lottery Fund cash to create a Lamp Cabin in its Colliery Village. Mining lamps were an important safety tool at pits.
The cabin will provide a base for the museum's collection of miners' lamps and other mining artefacts.
Previously the public have had to make an appointment to view the items privately at the museum.

Beamish curator Chris Scott said the cabin would be built with designs and materials used in 1913. He told the BBC : "This grant provides Beamish with the scope to add to the story we tell our visitors about their coal mining heritage."


Friends in Deed

The Friends of Beamish help the Museum in many ways. One being to make funds available when important items come up for auction and speed is of the essence. Rhiannon and Seb tell the story of the successful visit to Cheffins the Auctioneers recently:

"It came to the attention of the Museum that Cheffins Auctioneers were holding a sale of agricultural artefacts at Stapehill Abbey Museum in Dorset. A number of these objects were of interest as several had regional relevance through their manufacture. Many of the objects were once part of John Moffitt's collection at Hunday Museum near Hexham, Northumberland and had made their way south upon that museum's closure.

There were two objects that really caught our eye; an early reaper and a Homestead Thresher. After receiving the financial support of the Friends, several of us found ourselves being awoken by very early alarms one Friday morning and gathering at the museum before setting off and heading south.

It was certainly worth the early morning and long drive as once the auction was under-way we managed to secure both lots. The Threshing machine was manufactured by Ransomes and has a 36" drum. This was quite a small machine, but was designed to be more manoeuvrable around narrow country lanes or easily worked in and around smaller farmsteads. This was bought for £2000, but will enable threshing to be carried out at the museum on certain days.

The reaper cost £650 and was built in Beadale. It is quite an early model, possibly mid-1800s. The plan is to use this near the Georgian Landscape to reduce the amount of work done by modern vehicles in that area.

One particular little item that took our fancy was a horse drawn muck spreader. This would have been used to put manure into crop ridges, turnips for example. Unfortunately we came up against some stiff opposition in our bidding for this in the form of Mr. Bill Etherington of Sedgefield and, with disappointment, had to let it go. This was built by J D Allen, Perthshire but was originally sold at the 1908 Newcastle Royal Show. Well, at least it's back up in this part of the world and Mr Etherington has promised Beamish first refusal if he ever decides to let it go.

Many thanks to the Friends for making these purchases possible from Rhiannon Hiles, Keeper of Interpretation and Seb Littlewood, Curator of Rural Collections."

It's always a pleasure to help out the Museum - That's what we do!


Always a Warm Welcome from the Friends.


Join NOW!

Become a Friend of Beamish and support the important work we do for Beamish Museum.

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