RESIDENTS are invited to share memories of three neighbouring villages before a replica of their 1950s welfare hall opens at a museum.

Beamish Museum is inviting people from Leasingthorne, Leeholme and Coundon to a Mining, Memories and 50s Fun event at Leeholme Working Men’s Club on Sunday, between 12noon and 3pm.

A replica of the Leasingthorne Colliery Welfare Hall and Community Centre will open its doors at Beamish Museum this summer– the first building in the museum’s 1950s Town.

Beamish has worked with the community on the project and wants people to join them at the club, in Hereford Street,to share memories and photographs of the area.

People can find out more about the recreation of the welfare hall– which is part of the £18million Remaking Beamish project– and how they can get involved.

Photos and mining objects from the museum’s collection will be on display and people can try on 1950s costume and join in activities from the decade, including crafts, toys and games.

Geraldine Straker, Remaking Beamish community participation officer, said: “We’ve been so welcomed and helped by the local community in the work the museum is doing to replicate the welfare hall.

“The sense of pride in the area and its history and the pit has been apparent throughout so we’re really pleased to be working with the Leeholme Working Men’s Club to hold this event. We hope people will come and tell us about the area, as well as just to enjoy a lovely afternoon out. “The event will be a great opportunity to find out more about the project, as we’re keen for people to get involved, ahead of the opening of the hall this summer. People can drop in anytime between 12pm and 3pm.”

The original welfare hall, now known as Coundon and Leeholme Community Centre, opened in 1957 and is still at the heart of its community.

The recreated hall is the first building in The 1950s Town at Beamish, which will also include a cinema, shops, houses, cafe, as well as aged miners’ homes that will provide a centre for older people, including those living with dementia. The Remaking Beamish project also includes a 1950s Farm, bus depot and expansion of the Georgian area, including a coaching inn where visitors can stay overnight.

The project has been awarded £10.9million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.