Saturday, April 28, 2012

Day 26: Durham & Beamish Open Air Museum

The rain stayed away again today.  We took advantage of the good weather, walked to the bus station, and rode the bus to the Beamish Open Air Museum.  The weather cooperated and stayed really nice all day! 

The museum is divided into different sections, each representing an era in North of England's history:  a Georgian period gentleman farmer's "estate", a railway station with steam trains, 1913 Edwardian market town, early 1900s mining village and colliery, and an early 20th century farm.  There are fields and meadows in between and period buses and trams to take you from one part to another.  We didn't visit everything today since our ticket is good for future visits and we expect to go back.

we rode this steam train

garden at the Georgian-era gentleman's farm

view of the "Pit Village" and Colliery

What was most impressive from today's visit was when Caroline and I entered a mine and walked down a ways and saw the working conditions of the coal miners who worked here in the North East of England.   The Mahogany drift mine here was opened in 1850 and was worked for over 100 years. 

this mine originally went down 1.5 miles and 5 miles in each direction

I can't tell you how happy I was to get out of there and we were only down there for 10 minutes at the most.  Amazing what those miners did for 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.