At the Beamish Museum, the staff works to provide their visitors with the most authentic historical experience possible. The museum opened in 1972, but work started on the collection long before that. In the late 1950s the old customs and traditions of the Northeast, were starting to die out, as industry in the region declined the communities that used to serve the coal mines shipyards and farms were disappearing, and with them the old way of life was being lost. A project started to collect things from the past, anything and everything that used to be part of everyday life. The people of the region gave generously, 1000s and 1000s of objects from kitchen were to steam engines. And these all became part of the recreation of the vanished communities at Beamish. Today, at the center of the 300 acre site is the recreation of a town from the turn of the century. The town is complete with homes shops where you can buy handmade candy, and even a local dentist. Visitors traveled around the site on beautifully restored trains. They can visit properly old hall to see how life was lived by the local landowner, his family and staff. And they can visit a coal mine village from 1913 and see the cramped workers terraces where women used to bake bread and communal ovens behind their houses. They can also see the local school where the boys and girls were educated separately. And the tiny pit ponies that used to work down the minds. Visitors can even get an authentic taste of the past from this takeout restaurant where the cooking is still done with coal fires, just like it used to be. And the fish and chips are just as popular and delicious as they have always been.