MOST people will have enjoyed their Christmas dinner in a room surrounded by festive decorations.

Christmas trees adorned with lights, tinsel and baubles, wall decorations, ornaments, fake snow and wreaths are staples of the festive season.

But decorations have changed over the years, as today’s Object of the Week demonstrates.

We visit one of the region’s most popular museums, in County Durham, to look at some festive baubles which we think many readers will remember.

These glass Christmas tree ornaments, from the 1950s, were donated to Beamish Museum in a mixed lot of items from the mid-20th century.

They joined roughly 2.5 million objects in the museum’s collection, which contains everything from children’s toys to steam engines.

When it comes to Christmas decorations, the 1950s saw a particular shift from handmade to shop-bought – the wartime austerity of the 1940s was over and people were ready to celebrate Britain’s post-war revival.

These baubles, still in their original box, are typical of the type of decorations available to buy at the time.

In bold, bright colours typical of both the era and season, these decorations were sold by Woolworths.

The first Woolworths opened in the UK in 1909, in Liverpool.

The company came to the UK from America, where the first shop was opened in 1879 by Frank W Woolworth.

For generations the company remained a firm favourite in the UK, with many fondly remembering its eclectic range of goods and, of course, its famous Pick and Mix.

Woolworths peaked in popularity in the mid-20th century, before gradually declining, and eventually closing in 2009.

For the first time, visitors to Beamish, The Living Museum of the North were able to experience a 1950s Christmas as part of its Christmas at Beamish event following the opening of the 1950s welfare hall in June. The event ran up until Christmas Eve

Beamish’s 1950s welfare hall celebrated the season with decorations, crafts and 1950s games, including snowman, a festive take on the game of beetle.

Staff in the welfare hall have also be preparing for the museum’s pantomime, The Lambton Worm, which will be performed during Beamish’s Twelfth Night Celebrations, which runs from tomorrow (December 27) until January 5, 2020,except for January 1.

Visitors will be bale to see John Lambton on his quest to defeat the worm in this adaptation of the local legend.

Performances will take place at 10.30am, noon, 1.30pm and 3pm, and last for approximately half an hour – oh yes they will!

Visitors can use their Beamish Unlimited Pass or Friends of Beamish membership to enjoy Christmas at Beamish and Twelfth Night Celebrations for free.

Visit for more information.

Object of the Week is a regular feature in The Northern Echo, usually appearing on a Saturday.

If you have an artefact you’d like to appear, contact Andrew White on 01325-505054, or email