Beamish, The Living Museum of the North is giving people a chance to “chip in” with its 1950s Town at a community event in Middleton St George this Saturday (13th November).

The open-air museum is recreating Middleton’s fish and chip shop, from Middleton St George, near Darlington, in a 1950s terrace as part of its Remaking Beamish project. Beamish is hosting a free, drop-in event at Middleton St George Community Centre, on Station Road, on Saturday, 13th November, from 11am to 3pm, where people can find out more about the project.

People can help to create stories that could be used in the 1950s “newspaper” that will wrap the fish and chips, as well as share memories of life in Middleton St George, try on 1950s costumes and play games from the decade.

Natasha Anson, Remaking Beamish Project Officer – Community Participation, said: “We’re really excited to be working in Middleton St George as we get closer to opening our 1950s fish and chip shop at the museum, which will contain a replica of the 1952 Frank Ford range donated to the museum from Middleton’s Fish and Chips.

We’d love to involve as many people from the village as possible, whether that’s sharing memories of life in Middleton St George, having a go at our 1950s games, or helping us develop stories for the newsprint that the chips will be wrapped in! There are lots of ways to get involved – we’re looking forward to seeing everyone!”

A Chance For You To 'Chip In' At Beamish's Community Event In Middleton St George
Archive photo of the Middleton St George building (centre) that Beamish is replicating for Middleton’s Fish and Chips in its 1950s Town.

The £20million Remaking Beamish project includes a 1950s Town, 1950s Farm and expansion of the Georgian landscape. Middleton’s Fish and Chips is part of the 1950s Front Street terrace and will serve up the popular 1950s treat. The original fish and chip shop in Middleton St George was owned and run by Doreen Middleton in the 1950s.

Maria Darling, Trustee and Secretary of the Middleton St George Community Association, said: “We are thrilled to be a part of this wonderful project at the community centre, bringing back to life a part of our village’s history.”

The 1950s terrace, which is due to open in February 2022, also includes recreations of John’s Café, from Wingate; a hairdresser’s shop, from Middlesbrough, and the former home of North East artist Norman Cornish. The first building in The 1950s Town, a replica of Leasingthorne Colliery Welfare Hall and Community Centre, is already open at Beamish.

Middleton’s Fish and Chips will be the second fried fish shop at the museum, with Davy’s Fried Fish Shop in The 1900s Pit Village showing how the food was served during Edwardian times.

Thanks to the money raised by National Lottery players, the Remaking Beamish project has been awarded a £10.9million grant by The National Lottery Heritage Fund – a major milestone in Beamish’s history and the largest single investment ever seen at the museum.

Beamish is still fundraising for the remaining project match funding, and there is a fundraising plan in place to guide this work.

For more information about the Middleton St George Community Centre event, please contact Natasha Anson, Remaking Beamish Project Officer – Community Participation, email [email protected].

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