An event at Beamish Museum this weekend will look at LGBT life in the north east in the 1950s and 1960s.

On 24th and 25th February, members of LGBT History Project NE will be telling the story of gay, lesbian and transgender heritage in the region.

In the 1950s front room in Ravensworth Terrace, the project members, along with Beamish staff, will be talking to visitors and hoping to collect memories from the 1950s and 1960s.

LGBT History Project NE is just one of the community groups the museum is working with as part of its Remaking Beamish project.

The Remaking Beamish project will include the construction of a 1950s town, which will feature a cinema, shops, houses, a café and a farm. The museum will also record diverse memories from all parts of the community from that era.

The Remaking Beamish community participation officer, Geraldine Straker, said, “We are working with a whole range of community groups across the region to find out more about everyday life in the north east in the 1950s.”

“The stories collected by LGBT History Project NE will help us understand another aspect of the north east in the 1950s and assist us in bringing even more history to life.”

A related project is Pride of Place, which was set up by Historic England to investigate the LGBT contribution to England’s past. Historic England aims to uncover locations associated with the nation’s LGBT heritage and to re-evaluate existing heritage sites in terms of their LGBT significance.

In the north east, such sites could range from the remnants of the frontiers of Roman Britain to gay bars and clubs that are still popular today. As part of Pride of Place, LGBT History Project NE is working with Age UK to build a collection of memories from older members of the LGBT community to share with future generations.

Emily Jeffers, a community engagement volunteer at LGBT History Project NE, said, “LGBT History Project NE is an organisation which seeks to promote the inclusiveness of LGBTQI+ history.”

“This is to ensure that LGBTQI+ histories are no longer edited, covered up or erased. We believe that the whole story of history should be told, not just part of it.”

Building work on the £18-million Remaking Beamish project is well underway. Remaking Beamish was able to go ahead thanks in part to a £10.9 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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