STAFF at an open-air museum in Durham have been finding new ways of keeping the museum alive.

The old-fashioned shops of Beamish attract many visitors with their rare products, when the museum shut in lockdown people continued to want their homemade Beamish sweets.

Matthew Henderson Engagement and Development officer said: “When the museum shut we wanted to find a way of bringing the museum to people’s homes. We tried to take all the period shops and put them on our website. There was just two of us and we had orders from Canada and Australia. We got sweets and packaged them up like an old-fashioned parcel and sent them off to people, the support has been amazing, everyone has a connection to Beamish.

“People have been desperate to get back to the museum, it’s a chance to escape the virus and it’s a bit of normality, obviously we have Covid restrictions in place but the museum is slowly waking back up.”

The museum reopened on July 23 with social distancing measures in place.

Staff at Beamish launched a fundraising appeal earlier this month, in response to the major impact of the coronavirus pandemic. As a charity, 95 per cent of its income is from visitors, including tickets, catering and retail purchases. So far over £10,000 has been donated to help support the museum in getting up and running again and secure its future for generations to come.

Rhiannon Hiles, Beamish’s Deputy Director, said: “It is fantastic that we are able to reopen Beamish this Thursday.

“The museum has felt very strange since we closed in March, missing the sights and sounds that we all associate with the museum. Over these last few months, we have remained positive and optimistic planning our reopening.