Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Touristy Tuesdays: People's History Museum

If I've got a day free in the school holidays or at the weekend, one of my favourite things to do is to take a trip out somewhere interesting, and that's the inspiration behind my new series of posts, "Touristy Tuesdays". Now, as I'm lucky enough to live close to Manchester, there are loads of great places to see and things to do that are almost on my doorstep: museums, galleries, historic buildings, green spaces, guided tours and lots of fantastic shops and restaurants, so I reckon that's where most of my Touristy Tuesdays will be based, although if I venture further afield, I'll be sure to take plenty of pictures there too!!

I've decided to kick off the series by focusing on the People's History Museum, which Amy and I visited during the school holidays. This is one of the lesser known museums in Manchester, and focuses specifically on the ordinary people's struggle for democracy over the past 2 centuries (starting from the Peterloo Massacre in 1819 and going up to the present day). Now, this may sound a bit boring, but don't let my description put you off...it's a really interesting and family friendly museum, with lots of interactive exhibits for both children and adults alike to enjoy. The main galleries themselves are split up into seven main themes. One of mine and Amy's favourites was the "Free Time" exhibit where we worked at a Co-Op, watched part of a football match and looked at football memorabilia and picked songs to listen to on a jukebox:

Amy and I pretending to be shopkeepers in the Co-Op. Do you like my hat?!

Check out the football memorabilia!! We also sat on a "football pitch" to watch some clips of famous football matches...the oldest one was from 1898 and the picture was so flickery we couldn't even see the ball!!

Another favourite of mine were the "rooms" that were decorated to show what life was like for normal people at various points during the past 200 years, as I love finding out what everyday life was like in the past, not just about big historical events or the lives of the rich and famous. Here are some pictures of a typical 1945 living room:

Amy and I love hats, so we thought it was great when we got to try these on in the "Workers" exhibition:

Amy in a top hat. These were generally worn by men from the upper classes.

And in a bowler hat...these were worn by middle class men.

Straw boater time!! This was really appropriate given the weather...it was a really warm, sunny day, but SO uncomfortable to wear!!

And here's the clock that the workers would use to clock in at the start of their shift:

Dotted all around the museum were beautiful banners from various workers' associations and trade unions. They were all so beautifully decorated, it's just a pity that the picture I've got is quite blurry:

This is from "The Amalgamated Society of Woodworkers Chatham District"

Finally, I feel that this sums up the museum fantastically. It's a giant wall painting which takes the viewer through all the events and organisations that have shaped the lives of ordinary people over the past 200 years:

And that's my People's History Museum. Stay tuned for more blog updates soon...I'm trying really hard to keep up with my posting and to comment on all your blogs too!! Till next time...

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