Tyne & Wear

South Shields miners' homes to help with dementia

Houses in Marsden Road in South Shields
Image caption The Marsden Road homes opened in 1915

A block of houses in South Shields are to be replicated at a County Durham museum to help people with dementia.

Four terraced homes in Marsden Road have been chosen to be rebuilt at Beamish Museum, as part of its planned 1950s town.

Two of the properties will be used to host sessions for people living with dementia and their families and carers.

The other two will be open to visitors to help tell the story of life in the 1950s.

Aged miners' homes were some of the earliest forms of social housing, built to help elderly members of mining communities.

The Marsden Road buildings, which were opened in 1915, are owned by Durham Aged Mineworkers' Homes Association which is working with Beamish on the project.

Chief executive, Paul Mullis, said it was "fantastic" their properties were being replicated at the museum.

Image copyright Beamish
Image caption The homes will be replicated to tell the story of life in the 1950s

He said: "We have many residents who will remember what it was like living in the 1950s, so as well as having our homes at the museum, it will also be great for the memories and mementos of our residents and their families to be part of this fantastic project."

The museum already hosts sessions for people living with dementia at Orchard Cottage at the 1940s farm.

The museum's active ageing officer, Michelle Kindleysides, said: "Being able to use a house which is full of original furniture, objects and music from the 1940s and 50s means the environment is very often much more familiar.

"The opening of the new 1950s houses will mean we will be able to work with even more people, especially those who would usually find it difficult to leave their own homes or care setting."

The 1950s-style development, costing £10.8m, will also include a cafe, shops, police house, cinema and recreation area.

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