Aimed at showing visitors that ‘there have always been ideas worth fighting for’, the People’s History Museum in Manchester is the national museum of democracy. Taking an immersive and interactive tour of Manchester and Britain, you’ll experience political and social change from the Peterloo Massacre of 1819, right up to the present day. From key speeches by notable figures to explorations of the average life, the museum gives a comprehensive and stunning view of the past. As a key cultural attraction of Greater Manchester, over 100,000 people a year come to see the incredible revolution and reform started in Manchester.
This week, Quingo Scooters is heading to Manchester to learn more about the impact Manchester has had on the democracy of Britain. With two permanent galleries, 7 themes, 1500 historic objects and many interactive exhibitions, there’s so much to see. Let’s get started…
There’s always something exciting on at the People’s History Museum in Manchester. With a selection of permanent and temporary exhibitions, make sure to check here to see what’s on offer.
- Main Gallery One: This is home to a march through time. Covering Britain’s struggle for democracy over 2 centuries. Divided into 7 themes and 2 galleries, you’ll follow a chronological order of British and North West history. These themes are revolution, reformers, workers and voters. With a wide range of interactive and almost 1,500 historic objects, this immersive experience takes you through political and social reform over 200 years. From the rise of Manchester at the centre of Britain’s Industrial revolution to the formation of Trade Unions, you can explore the movements that created society as we know it!
Must see: Did you know that the Suffragette movement was born in Manchester? This gallery covers the formation of the Manchester Society for Women’s Suffrage in 1867 and the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) founded in Manchester by Emmeline Pankhurst and her sisters in 1903. With banners, posters and minutes from meetings, the journey for women’s right to vote is covered in amazing detail. A must-see for all interested in politics and revolution!
- Main Gallery Two: Starting in 1945 at the end of World War II, this journeys through political and social upheaval. Showcasing the shift of politics from parties to issues, war and peace, equality, strikes and migration are all covered here. You’ll even see incredible insight into the working-class leisure activities popular in the mid-20th century, including football and music from Manchester.
Must see: Showcasing both sides of famous protests, history is visually brought to life. With an audio-visual show that helps to create the atmosphere of a march or protest, the noise and fluttering banners creates an unforgettable experience!
- Savage Ink: Through many publications, this exhibition presents the history of the satirical cartoon. From its pioneering start in the late 18th century through to those artists working on graphic novels, newspapers and comic books today. Presenting the cartoon as an important form of visual protest, the historical importance of the art form is brought to life.
Must see: The satirical cartoon has documented some of the biggest moments in the long fight for suffrage and representation. This exhibition presents rare historical cartoons from William Hogarth, James Gillray, Steve Bell and Peter Fluck. This showcases the incredible impact these cartoons had presenting a relatable and honest portrayal of history.
- The House of Kings and Queens: Manchester has long had a proud history of supporting the LGBT community. In this spectacular exhibition, documentary photographer Lee Price presents striking images of LGBT life from Sierra Leone. This is part of Queer Contact Festival 2018, celebrating LGBT arts and culture across Greater Manchester. Providing amazing insight into the struggles faced daily for LGBT in Sierra Leone, this exhibition is not to be missed!
Where to eat and drink
The Left Bank café bar offers a wide selection of food from snacks and hot meals including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Whether you want to enjoy a hand-crafted coffee, seasonal British food or try some of the best local ales Greater Manchester has to offer, the Left Bank café bar has it all. On sunny days, you’ll even be able to enjoy the café’s riverside terrace! More information on what’s available can be found here.
Opening times and prices
The People’s History Museum is open 10am to 5pm daily, excluding 24-26 December and 1 January. On the second Thursday of the month, the museum is open from 10am to 8pm. Admission to the museum is free, with most events also free of charge. Donations are welcome while you are there. Further information can be found here.
Located in Spinningfields, Manchester, the museum is accessible by all major forms of transport. It is 5 minutes away from the centre of Manchester, and serviced by frequent bus and metrolinks. The nearest railway station is Salford Central. If you are travelling by car, there is ample Blue Badge parking. This is available on New Bailey Street, Stanley Street and St Mary’s Street, all of which offer on-street parking bays. More information on getting there can be found here.
The People’s History Museum is fully accessible for all visitors. With ramps up to the main entrance, there is an automatic opening leading to the reception area. The attraction has lifts to all floors and accessible toilets on the lower ground, ground and second floor. Blue Badge parking is available close by at New Bailey Street’s on-street parking, pay and display machine parking bays on Stanley Street and on St Mary’s Street. Should you want to contact the museum for more information on accessibility, you can call on 0161 838 9190 or emailing at [email protected]. Full information on accessibility can be found here.
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