Outdoor museum Beamish has received a £100,000 grant from The Reece Foundation to support hands-on STEM activities at the location’s historic electrical and repair shop, which will be built in Beamish’s 1950s Town.

The exhibit will be named A Reece Ltd, Radio and Electrical Services, after North East engineer Dr Alan Reece, who founded the Reece Foundation.

The downstairs workshop of the building will host STEM activities for visitors covering topics such as electronics, circuitry and basic fault finding and repairs.

Above the shop will be a STEM learning workshop set up just like a 1950s electrical repair space that will be used by a range of people including school groups, youth clubs, health and wellbeing groups, and for teacher training.

The shop’s showroom at the front will tell the story of the increase in domestic appliances and the changes in technology during the 1950s – featuring the latest electrical items on display such as radios, hairdryers, fridges and lighting.

The Reece Foundation has now supported the museum’s STEM projects for 12 years and the latest capital brings the total donated to £1million.

Sally Dixon, Assistant Director Partnerships & Communications at Beamish Museum, said the museum is “perfectly placed to support Reece in raising the profile of their key message, ‘engineers solve problems’, and we very much look forward to working with the team there for years to come, inspiring the engineers of the future.”

The 1950s Town in which the exhibit will be based is part of the £20m Remaking Beamish project, which also includes a 1950s Farm and expansion of The 1820s Landscape.

Anne Reece, Chair of Reece Foundation, said: “Right now we are realising the value of sustainability and the necessity to reduce waste – to repair and to reuse. We couldn’t have a more relevant place than the electrical repair workshop for today’s society – despite the fact it’s inside a village street from the 1950s. We must relearn and value those skills and our workshop will make a significant contribution to this aim.”

Art Fund – News
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