Thursday, 10 November 2011

Museum Of Science And Industry

Museum of Science and Industry
We started our day a little earlier than usual and after our pot of tea we set off at around 10.30. It was probably about half an hour's drive and when we arrived in Manchester we went straight to the Museum of Science and Industry.

It's a huge area with exhibitions spread out across five separate buildings. There is no admission fee to the museum and if you can get there without using a car you'll be able to save yourself the £5.00 parking charge.

The 'intelligent pig'
The first building that we went into was the 1830's Warehouse. One of the first exhibits we saw was the Gas Gallery which tells the story of gas supply and how coal was turned into gas. We also saw how gas cookers and heaters have changed over the years and there was a gas hair dryer that had once been in use in a hairdressing salon. Plus I got to meet my first 'intelligent pig' while I was there - a remote controlled device for checking pipelines that brings North Sea gas to land.

A stroll through the sewers
The next exhibit we went to was the story of water and sewerage, which was located in the cellars of the warehouse building. We walked through a Victorian sewer which was built using original bricks from a Manchester sewer of the late 1830's. Part of this exhibition included an array of toilets ranging from communal toilets to a Victorian privy and a 'tipper' toilet. There was also a recreation of a laundry at Moss Street public baths.

The RAF at Manchester
At lunch time we left the museum and went across the road for a plate of fish and chips (no Weatherspoon's this time) and when we got back we went into the Air and Space Hall. Here we were able to look back on the history of flying, from the early days of tri-planes to the more modern jets and helicopters. The are also various cars and motorbikes on display including a Rolls Royce car hand built in 1905, a 1912 Ford Model T Roadster, and a 1916 Royal Ruby motorbike.

After the Air and Space Hall, the next building we went to was the Power Hall but unfortunately I tripped on some uneven paving on the way there and came down hard on my right hip, I was in agony for the rest of the visit. We eventually got into the Power Hall though which tells the story of steam power and Manchester's industrial development, but with all the running steam machinery it was just a little bit too warm and stuffy for me so I went and sat outside while Gaz and Mick looked at the exhibits inside.

Liverpool Street station
A little later we went to explore the Liverpool and Manchester Railway exhibition. We took a walk along the platform of the Liverpool Street station and saw the Planet locomotive and other rolling stock. We also saw the original station bell and sundial and the first and second class booking halls. At the end of the platform there was a Community Exhibition Gallery.

Michael exploring the Chinese exhibition
The displays in this gallery are changed frequently and highlight different aspects of the community.

At the time of our visit there was an exhibition from the Chinese community showing the way of life in China. There was a mini art gallery and displays of traditional Chinese attire, plus displays of Chinese medicines, games, and money. There was also a large Chinese dragon hanging from the ceiling and an old rickshaw on display.

Gaz inspecting the Chinese displays
In the same area there was a 'Collected Cameras' display. There were many old cameras on display along with photos of people using the cameras back in the olden days. Not only did you have to be proficient in photography but it looks as though, with some of the cameras, you had to know a thing or two about weightlifting as well. The cameras were huge!

Charlie amongst the Chinese clothing
The Science Museum covers a lot of ground and even after spending a day there I don't think we got to see it all.

There were a couple of galleries that we briefly explored; the Science Gallery, the Underground Gallery and the Textiles Gallery (where there was a large coat made from dandelion seeds), but there were also other areas which we were unable to cover, like the Revolution Gallery, the Making of Manchester Gallery, and the Connecting Manchester Gallery with all the old phones, radios and televisions.

Maybe next time....

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