South Shields ‘Aged Miners’ homes to be replicated in Beamish Museum

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MAKE mine a double!

A terrace of four ‘Aged Miners’ houses in Marsden Road, South Shields, is to be replicated at Beamish Museum as part of its planned 1950s Town.

Two of the homes will host pioneering sessions for people living with dementia, older people, and their families and carers – building on acclaimed work already done by the museum.

Aged miners’ homes were some of the earliest forms of social housing to help elderly members of mining communities.

And the Marsden Road homes, which were opened in 1915, had indoor toilets when they were built, demonstrating the commitment to high quality care that the Aged Miners’ Homes Association had from the outset.

The homes are owned by Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association (DAMHA), which is working with Beamish on the project.

Museum staff are also speaking to residents and other community groups to gather their memories of the 1950s as part of the exciting project.

Michelle Kindleysides, Beamish’s active ageing officer, said: “We’re so fortunate to have such a unique environment to support our work with people living with dementia.

“Our 1940s Orchard Cottage has proved a great success. We’ve welcomed a wide range of groups to enjoy lots of different activities together. Being able to use a house which is full of original furniture, objects and music from the 1940s and 50s means the environment is very often much more familiar.

“Our work has been really well received by community groups and care providers in the region too. The opening of the new 1950s houses will mean we will be able to work with even more people, especially those who would usually find it difficult to leave their own homes or care setting.”

Paul Mullis, chief executive of DAMHA, said: “We are flattered and delighted to have been approached to help with the project and it will be fantastic to see some of our properties replicated at the museum.

“We have many residents who will remember what it was like living in the 1950s, or perhaps there are people who have been handed down objects from this decade, so as well as having our homes at the museum it will also be great for the memories and mementos of our residents and their families to be part of this fantastic project.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazpaul