A visit to the Heritage Centre at Bellingham

arrivalOn Monday 24th September, our weekly meeting was held at The Heritage Centre in Bellingham. We arrived by coach just after 6pm and had a most interesting guided tour of the Museum. The Museum is run entirely by volunteers and their enthusiasm for the project was boundless. The museum concentrates on the history of Bellingham and covers the railway, the old iron works, coal mining and the local bookshelfagriculture. There is a notable display of old photographs and photographic equipment which is due to a local photographer who ran a shop in the village. There is also a complete Blacksmith’s Forge which was donated by the family of the local Blacksmith who worked the forge until he was over ninety.
A current exhibition features the 100 years since the Armistice at the end of the Great War, a poignant reminder of how many local men (and horses) lost their lives. It was enhanced by many embroidered postcards sent home from the front lines and by the illustrations provided by local school children.

TerryNeedless to say there was a section on the "Steel Bonnets" aka "The Border Reivers" and Terry was persuaded to don the helmet in the fashion of his ancesters. The centre also has an excellent range of books and other items available in their shop. There are also several Dining Carcomputer consoles with historical photos, historical names and an index of historical information which can be accessed by visitors.
After spending time in the Museum, we moved out to the “Carriages Tearooms” where the staff had prepared dinner for us and, after Rotary Grace, we sat down to an excellent meal. There was the usual raffle supplemented by some Georgeprizes kindly donated by the Museum. The whole event was masterminded by George Robinson who was duly thanked for an excellent evening out.