|Beamish in January
||[Jan. 10th, 2017|05:27 pm]
We spent Sunday at Beamish museum. Not everything was open, but there was enough to entertain us; the car park was busy but it's surprising how many people you can lose within the museum:
The place wasn't really deserted, but this is a back street, between the fish shop and the chapel, looking towards the school. The photo gives a good idea of what the light was like - bright but mellow sunshine coming and going, and a haze on the air which wasn't entirely caused by the fact that, to my surprise, they were frying at the fish shop - see the thread of black smoke from the chimney? It would have been a very early fish and chip lunch, so we went instead to the school, where a very elegant young man, with a fob watch, a well-kept moustache and a flower in his buttonhole, demonstrated the workings of the - and I've forgotten the name of the instrument: like a player piano, in that it can be powered by pedals to play a paper roll, but also capable of being played by hand - a name I recognised as soon as he said it, but which has now evaporated, leaving no trace... There were pit ponies in the stables, dhaggy, stocky little creatures, and there was more music in the band hall:
"We're the East Stanley Temperance Band - " said someone who was getting enthusiastically into character.
"Oh, no, we aren't!" said someone else, who wasn't.
We took the bus to the town, where we visited the new pharmacy, and the photographic studio, where you can - though you'll have to book in advance, there's a queue - have your photograph taken with what looks for all the world like a plate camera, and receive an old-fashioned print with a speed which gives away the fact that no glass plates were harmed in the taking of this photograph. But the lady assistant showed us a selection of (reproductions of) early photographs, including James Clerk Maxwell's colour photo of a tartan ribbon. The baker's shop was warm and smelled of coconut, and I bought durham_rambler a cake hot out of the oven, and tried not to translate its price into pre-decimal currency.
Another bus to Pockerley and a quick visit to the Georgian faem, but by now we were winding down and running out of time. There's always more to see, but it will have to wait for next time.