Becca Jane St Clair

Personal Blog

[Recipe] Queen Cakes from Beamish

12244841_10153828556132160_1633251543351578338_o Last year, my husband gave me an experience day at Beamish for our 5th anniversary. I went on the baking course, and it was loads of fun! Not only did we get to use recipes from the Victorian era, we also baked on a coal stove, similar to the Esse stove I have in my kitchen (which I still haven’t used…..). We got to take home everything we baked and we were given a packet with the recipes to use at home. The goodies were enjoyed by my husband and I over our weekend break up North, and also given to my in-laws. We enjoyed everything we made, with the exception of the bread as it had too much yeast in it for our tastes. I held on to the recipe packet, and today when my pictures from the baking day popped up on my Timehop, I asked Tim what from that day I should make again. He suggested queencakes.

If the measurements look a little odd, its because the recipe from Beamish was in ounces. Fortunately, my digital scale can be switched from grams to ounces, so I swapped it over and then swapped it back to see what it was in grams so I could share this in an easier to measure measurement. I also worked out the sys for this since I wanted to know if I could have any and if you make 12, they come out at 3.5 Syns each. The batter filled up the tins, so I debated making 24 with the mixture, which would make them 1.7 syns each (round up to 2), but I think they would wind up being too small.


Queen Cakes
Makes 12, 3.5 Syns each

You will need:
114g self-rising flour
56g caster sugar
56g Flora light
1 egg
2 TBS semi-skim milk
31g currants

1. Preheat oven to 180C and spray a 12-hole bun tin with fry light.
2. beat the egg and milk together and set aside.
3. Cream together Flora and sugar.
4. Alternate adding egg mixture and flour to the mix.
5. Stir in currants.
6. Divide evenly into the bun tin and bake for 15 minutes.
7. allow to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then turn onto a cooling rack.


DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.

Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only. Syn values also frequently change, but these values are correct at the time of publication.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

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Beamish Through New Eyes

Ah, the long-awaited Beamish post!

A few months back, Tim and I were trying to come up with something to do as a day trip on one of his long weekends. We contemplated heading to one of our favourite railways (North Yorkshire Moors), but then I was on Facebook and saw on Beamish’s page that they were having a quilt exhibit that weekend, so plans were made for Tim and I to drive up and utilize our annual passes on the Saturday. We invited our friend, Helen, and her son, Mark. Helen was unable to attend, but Mark decided to come with us, so we got to experience Beamish “for the first time” through Mark.

Our first stop was the colliery and village, where Tim and Mark went down into the coal mine (I did it last time and it felt weird being able to touch the ceiling at 4’10”!) and we all explored the winding house and the engine shed, where Tim and I were surprised to find work was almost complete on the Coffee Pot engine!

I found where the quilts were and I spent lots of time in there talking with the women working there. The quilts were amazing. Oh, and Jen? I passed on the link to your website to the ladies I was talking to. They were really interested after the saw my bag you made! I found out about the guild of quilters and was invited to find a local group to join..I still haven’t. We have a local quilter’s group in the village, but their blurb in the newsletter always says “not accepting new members” and says that a non-member can attend three meetings and then go on a waiting list…and frankly, I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to put myself into something for three months only to find out that I can’t do it in the end and have to wait for someone to quit, move, or die before I can join. No thanks. But the quilts on display were amazing. I asked if I could take pictures and was given permission, so a few photos appear below of just some of the quilts on display. There were both modern quilts as well as some very old ones!

The boys joined me in the quilting exhibit after they explored the tram/trolly shed and some of the other machinery on display. They discovered a model railway track behind the exhibition hall, and so we’re hoping we can find out when running days are to come back up and see it!

All-in-all, it was a fantastic day. Mark loved it and wants to go back (three cheers for annual passes!).

Recently, Tim and I received the renewal form for our annual passes in the mail and I’ve got to get that form sent back this week! I also noticed the steam fair is September 2-5, but unfortunately it’s right before we leave for Austria. As much as we both want to go to it, especially for the “behind the scenes” tour, Tim asking off for a day right before our long holiday might not be such a good idea, nor would travelling up to Beamish (3 hours each way) right before we make the long drive to Austria. 🙁

Here’s some photos I took while we were visiting:

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Beamish Revisited

About a month ago, Tim and I took advantage of our annual passes to Beamish we got in September when we were there with my mom. I finally got to see sections I hadn’t seen before, including the farm and I got to pet a lamb! (which was trumped a few weeks later by feeding a lamb, but that’s another story!) But one thing was missing…

The Westoe Netty! It used to sit right outside the train station area, and when Tim and I were there, you could walk up to the netty and we took photos of Tim pretending to use it and me looking confused.

Oddly enough, a photo website has photos of the Westoe Netty posted on the 23 of April, only two weeks after Tim and I were there, so I’m really confused!

I’m trying to track down information from Beamish if the Westoe Netty is still there or not. Maybe it was moved and we didn’t see it since we only went to the sections I hadn’t been to before…who knows?

If you have any information about the Westoe Netty at Beamish, please leave me a comment!

But first, here’s some photos Tim and I took while we were there:

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Annual Passes

Tim and I have visited various attractions the past two years that offer annual passes. We hardly ever take advantage of the offer since in many of the cases it’s an attraction that isn’t local, such as Walt Disney World or something like that. But I’ve been noticing a lot of attractions that are “local” (by local, I mean within a few hours drive) that offer an annual pass when you buy your admission.

Examples include:

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard – Your admission price gives you unlimited entry to HMS Warrior 1860, Royal Naval Museum, and Action Stations for one year, however it is only valid for one entry to HMS Victory, the Mary Rose Museum, and Harbour Tours. Tim and I went in fall 2008. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to return to use our tickets again, but if you live close enough that you can go over the course of a few days, I highly recommend it! There’s so much to see there. Currently, you cannot visit the Mary Rose, as they are in the process of building a museum around her and expect to open in 2012, but you can still see everything else. Touring the HMS Victory was well-worth the banged heads on the lower decks!

Shakespeare’s Houses and Gardens – Entry is valid for one year, and if you download the voucher located here, you can even get a two for one offer on the multi-house ticket until October 2010. Tim and I first went in the fall 2008, and then recently took my mom for a visit a few weeks ago. This time, we used the 2 for 1 voucher (didn’t have one last time) and are planning on returning before our year is up. Just like Portsmouth, there is a lot to do there that all fall under the one ticket. When we went in 2008, we only had time to tour two of the buildings since we also had tickets to see a show at the theatre.

Beamish is another place that gives you a full year for the price of a single admission, and with so much to see there, it’s well worth it. We purchased tickets in September (2009) when my mom and I were visiting, and Tim and I took advantage of the annual pass and took a trip up to Beamish with a packed lunch so it only cost us petrol for a full day out! The first two times I was at Beamish, I only was able to see a few areas, as it was the Winter season. We finally went during the “Summer” season, but there’s still more to explore!

Or, if you’d rather a large variety of places to visit, there are organizations such as English Heritage (Membership starts at £44) and National Trust (Membership starts at £36). Each organization manages over 300 sites throughout the United Kingdom, and an annual membership gives you free admission to ALL attractions they own/operate.

Another website I’ve found useful for planning trips is Enjoy England. Enjoy England frequently offers 2 for 1 deals on many attractions.

Going away for a weekend getaway doesn’t have to be expensive!

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Planning September’s Trip

Mom and I are headed over to Ireland in September, and then plan on meeting Tim in Holyhead (Wales) over his long weekend to travel around the UK. Mom kept making lots of suggestions for things she wanted to do, so Tim and I decided to buy her a guidebook and map. We picked out Great Britain (EYEWITNESS TRAVEL GUIDE) as it looked like it was the best guide book in terms of lots of information and pictures, some Post-it brand tabs, and MapEasy’s Guidemap to England.

First, we went through the guidebook and marked EVERYTHING she expressed an interest in seeing, as well as places Tim or I thought she would like. Then, we started looking at the map and mapped out three different routes making lists of the places we could stop along the way. The Easyguide map was perfect for this, as it’s more of an artistic map and you can easily view the town names. However, I do not recommend liquid highlighter. A week later, I had to break down and cover the routes with clear tape since the marker was still wet!

We presented this all to mom, and told her she was free to pick from the three options for this trip (noting that we would at some point do all three trips. After all, we’ll be going back!). She picked option one, so we will be visiting:

North Yorkshire Moors Railway
Castle Howard
Flamborough Head

before returning to Lincoln. IF we have an extra day with Tim, we will also visit:

Warwick Castle

In addition to this, Mom and I will be going down to London on our own for at least one day, and possibly other day trips.

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Take a Step Back in Time…

[This entry refers to a trip taken in March 2009. As requested, I will be going back and blogging the trips I only posted vlogs about January – April.]

I’m still playing catch-up on my UK trip. Tim arrives in 25 days for his US visit, so I thought I ought to try and get things caught up!

Tim had a long weekend coming and we were trying to decide what to do on it and where to go. He handed me this big map book he has of the UK (complete with a mini visitor guide. This book is amazing and helped us plan several of our other trips!). I opened it up to the front page that shows all of the UK, and after two “splashes” (finger pointing at the Irish Sea), I landed somewhere in the Northeast. I think I landed specifically on Newcastle-upon-Tyne, or it might have been Durham. Either way, it sparked off a weekend in the Northeast! I was googling for things to do, and Tim remembered a place called Beamish. One look at the webpage, and I told him we had to go there!

Our weekend started off the day after one of the snow storms that swept across the UK. Actually, the storm that hit London the day before we left was the first big snow storm to hit London in 18 years! Since it wasn’t too bad in Lincoln, we decided to head on out anyway. I scored us a great deal on a hotel again, this time staying at a Holiday Inn a little bit north of Newcastle, for about half the price of even the local bed & breakfast! We settled into our hotel that evening, and planned on heading out to Beamish in the morning.

It snowed overnight, but only a light dusting. We headed out to Beamish, and right when we got there it started snowing harder! What perfect conditions to explore 1913!

Beamish is an open air museum designed to give you a glimpse of life in 1913 Northeastern England, and 1825. During the winter months, the 1825 section is closed, so you can only visit the 1913 town.

Fortunately, the trolley was running, so we hopped on the trolley and it took us back in time to 1913. Our first stop was a masonic temple, originally from Sunderland. The front of the temple was brought over brick-by-brick, but the inside was built new from the old plans. Our guide told us all about the secret society and talked about how to join the Masons. It was pretty interesting, but I lost interest after being told women couldn’t join! They also offered the opportunity to go upstairs, but I didn’t want to climb the steps.

Next to the temple was a branch of Barclay’s bank. A teller sat behind the counter working on needlework, waiting to show off the coins and bills used previously in England. We also took a trip downstairs and got to see the old fashioned vaults and deposit boxes. Wow, glad I wasn’t a banker in 1913!

After a stop at the (thankfully modern!) toilets, we moved onto some of the shops in town. The people in the confectionery told us to come back later if we wanted to watch a demonstration, so we headed to the Pub for a cup of tea to warm up with before heading back in. We got to watch how Toffee is made,and got samples fresh off the block! Tim and I picked up some old fashioned candy (at old fashioned prices!) to nibble on for the rest of the trip.

Across the street was the large co-op, where people could buy everything they needed for their homes, from washing machines and dishes to food and clothing. The shopkeeper explained everything to us, and showed us a very clever way of taking cash from customers. The shop had an overhead system of “rails”. Run completely by gravity (no electricity here!), the counter person was able to put the customer’s bill and money into a hollow croquet ball. Then, she’d put it onto the “track” and the ball whizzed it’s way back to a separate locked office where the cashier would take out the money, put change and a receipt in, and send it back to the counter person. This way, all the money was kept behind a locked door and it was actually a lot safer than most stores today!

Further down the block was a printing shop, where we got to watch the typesetter set the newspaper, and then used the press to make a “I’ve been to Beamish!” sign for a souvenir.

We skipped a few of the houses/offices and some of them weren’t open, but we did get to glimpse in the law office, and into the kitchen of a typical 1913 home.

Further down the block, we got to the Railway station – Tim’s favourite place! The station wasn’t open, but we took a few photos and got to see the Westoe Netty – and outdoor public toilet for men made famous by a 1972 painting. The toilet was built in the 1890s (and also the third old-fashioned toilet display we saw on my visit!).

On our walk back we stopped in at the stables and the garage before taking the trolly back to the entrance. We packed a picnic lunch, but supplemented it with some soup from the cafe.

We both had a great time, and I look forward to going back with Tim next Summer when we can see everything else!

The trolly we rode on


The Westoe Netty

For more photos:

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Vlogs: The Northeast

I know, I know. Finish writing about London, THEN post about this past weekend, but I just got up these videos and wanted to share them.

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