Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Post-War Homes a Step Closer to Museum Life

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Post-War Homes a Step Closer to Museum Life

Article excerpt

Byline: Kerry Wood Reporter

POST?WAR homes for North East families will provide a trip down memory for thousands as they become a slice of social history.

Saved from demolition for posterity these former homes from Gateshead, are to become the building block for the future development at Beamish Museum. It's more than a year since the four prefabricated Airey Houses in Kibblesworth escaped the wreaking ball days after being vacated by tenants in Coltspool where they'd stood the test of time as family homes for more than 50 years.

After being painstakingly deconstructed, packed up and transported a few miles down the road to County Durham the vacant homes will once again be filled with people when they form the basis for the new 1950s era at Beamish.

Revealing its plans for the next two years bosses at the museum hope to start on their latest 'brought to life' era by 2015.

The houses, which will be open to the public like those already seen in the museum's Edwardian pit village, will star in a 1950s town along with a cinema, aged miners' houses, community centre, garage and football pitch.

A spokesman for Beamish said: "The houses were loaded on to pallets and transported to Beamish.

Here they have been carefully stored until work begins on a new 1950s area, when they will be rebuilt as part of a typical north eastern post-war urban development.

"These four dwellings had been recently vacated and were due for demolition, when The Gateshead Housing Company offered the whole block to Beamish. The museum was delighted to accept and appointed Compass Developments (NE) Limited to dismantle the houses and transport them to Beamish.

"We got all of the houses safely to Beamish and they're now waiting, in storage, to be rebuilt in the 1950s area which is part of our long-term development and engagement plan."

Constructed in large numbers at the end of the Second World War, an Airey house is a prefabricated building often used as a temporary replacement for housing destroyed by bombs. …

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