Welcome to Belford and District Hidden History (BDHH), an evolving exhibition which seeks to throw light on the past of Belford and its surrounding area, and on the lives of the men, women and children who lived here.
From 2008, Fiona Renner Thompson mounted a series of summer displays in empty buildings in the High Street. In 2012, the village Community Group succeeded in obtaining grants under the Heritage Lottery Fund's SOS Villages scheme and from Northumberland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Trustees of Belford Reading Room granted the Group a five year lease of part of this historic building.
The Reading Room was originally provided by the Rev. John Dixon Clark, the then squire, in 1854. His aim was to improve community feeling by bringing landlord, farmer and tradesman into social contact by providing them with access to a plentiful supply of newspapers. To these facilities was added a popular Billiards Room.
During the First World War, it was a well used meeting place for the soldiers billeted in the village. and by the end of the War, needed refurbishment.
When, in 1923, the Belford Hall Estate was auctioned off, the building was sold privately to the Reading Room Committee. Gerard Leather, the owner of Middleton Hall, was particularly keen to improve the facilities for the ex-soldiers, in memory of his three brothers who were killed in the war.
With his encouragement and fund raising, the British Legion redecorated the rooms and repaired the billiard table in 1925. Then, in 1934, when the old A1 through Belford was widened, the old building was demolished to be replaced by the one you see today.
Belford and District Hidden History (BDHH) is registered with the Community Archives and Heritage Group
Comments In Visitors Book At Belford Museum 2013
Amazing to find this little museum – a wonderful archive.
Very interesting, great facility – will return.
Well done, chaps!
A real gem – what a find! Well done, Belford.
An excellent museum for a small but historical town.
Delightful surprise, well worth a visit.
Up to date technology, very impressive and informative.
A credit to all the hard work put into this museum.
Very absorbing story to tell about the village.
Excellent, we really enjoyed our visit.
Excellent display which does Belford proud.
The poetry of a past life- very interesting, thank you.
Very impressive collection delivered in a way that the children could also enjoy thoroughly. Thank you.
The quantity and quality of display is impressive.
A most impressive collection – thank you.
Overwhelmed – wonderful!
Comments In Visitors Book At Belford Museum 2014
An extraordinary achievement!
Our daughter loved the 2 interactive displays. More of these please.
A remarkable contribution to community coherence.
A lot more to Belford than meets the eye!
Wonderful exhibition with so much information.
A charming museum, what a delight to enjoy.
Researching Family History - interesting and found information.
An excellent source of local information in a beautiful village.
A lovely local source of family history.
What a marvellous community display - well done! Thank you.
Excellent role model for other small villages.
A wonderful trip down memory lane.
I enjoyed finding all of the bells. Fortunately I found them all. This minute museum is so interesting. I learnt a lot about Belford's history in the past. I hope I can come back again with my mum and dad.
Most interesting and a credit to the people who collated and presented it.
How nice to be able to browse through without pressure.
Thank you for opening this fascinating museum to give us the chance to linger and learn.
A very interesting display. I liked the suffragettes display.
I particularly liked the story of Grizzy Cochrane.
An enjoyable and well-resourced museum. Particularly enjoyed the personal stories.
Very interesting, could spend all day going through the archives.
Super information centre - lucky Belford to have such dedicated residents!
An excellent display with masses of info. Congratulations!
A pleasant surprise to find this - very interesting.
Really glad to have missed the bus connection home. Tremendous efforts to tell the stories of those killed in WW1. Terrific end to wonderful day visiting Farne islands.
Very welcoming - lots to see.
An interesting collection - hidden gem!
Excellent community initiative.
Really interesting exhibits and very helpful and knowledgeable guide. Thank you!