THE museum dedicated to the region’s industrial heritage is moving forward in time.

Beamish Museum, the open air attraction near Stanley ub County Durham, has traditionally concentrated on the latter part of the 19th Century and the early years of the 20th.

Now it is planning to devote an area to the 1950s after being offered four pre-fabricated concrete council houses from Kibblesworth, near Gateshead.

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The Airey houses were built to replace bomb-damaged housing after the Second World War and were only meant to be a temporary measure.

The Kibblesworth houses are being deconstructed, loaded on to pallets and transported to Beamish where they will be stored until work begins on the new 1950s area, when they will be rebuilt as part of a typical North- East post-war urban development.

They were due for demolition and were offered to the museum by the Gateshead Housing Company, which runs the borough’s council housing.

A museum spokeswoman said: "Beamish is currently undertaking a long-term development review and it is hoped that in the medium term a 1950s development will be added to the existing Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian areas. "As well as appropriate buildings, it is anticipated that the collecting of 1950s artefacts will commence later this year.

"It was obviously an era of great change .

"Houses like that this are being demolished all the time so it is great to be able to save some."

Airey houses, designed by Sir Edwin Airey, were built throughout the country - along with other types of prefabricated housing _ and had a prefabricated concrete columns clad with a series of ship-lap style concrete panels. They were usually built in semi-detached pairs but the terrace was peculiar to theNorth-East.