I must admit that I found the People's History Museum a little disappointing. The idea is great: A museum that is devoted to the social history of Great Britain, involving for example human rights, the labour reform, the fight for the environment, women's rights and so on. It shows the development of social history over the centuries, taking in many events of British history.
I expected that I would love this museum, but unfortunately I don't think that it really succeeds. The displays are a little soulless, and some were hard to understand (at least if you are not from Britain and don't know so much about local politics). What I didn't like at all was that it seemed to have the attitude that now, in the 21st century, all things and aims have been achieved. We have many reforms, women can vote, homosexuals don't need to be afraid anymore, so everything is right.
Even if everything was alright in Europe (which is not), there are many parts in the world where things are not right, and that should not be ignored... So altogether I think the museum is a little too self-righteous, and that disappointed me. I think there should also have been a focus on what still needs to be done.
Opening times: 10.00am to 05.00pm daily
I thoroughly enjoyed visiting this museum and learning about the people's struggles for democracy in Britian since the 18th Century. This is a museum I highly recommend and I was impressed how the exhibits were presented in a chronological order from the 18th Century up till today.
The museum is split seven sections and all the collections and exhibits are housed under the following themes over two main galleries:
The People's War 1939 - 1945
Citizens Post 1945
It took me two and half hours to look through the two main galleries. The museum also has a cafe bar, gift shop, a conservation centre, space for community activities and temporary exhibitions and also an archive and study centre.
This small and free Manchester museum celebrates the history of the worker and their struggle in Manchester. In the last couple of years the museum has been modernised however many of the favourite exhibits remain. Enter the museum by clocking in using an antiquated clock machine. Many of the exhibits are interactive making this a great half day out for the little people. Visit the cooperative shop, see the old fashioned packaging of popular brands and play with the weighing scales and till. See the authentic looking residence of the homeworker and have a go at making the boxes that many child workers laboured at. The museum also has a gift shop where you can get a copy of the Ragged Trousered Philanthropist and lots of other small gifts. It has some great postcards about working life - I love the one with office workers stood around outside - "Warning smoking can cause hypothermia!"
The People's History Museum in Manchester is a national museum charting the history of the struggle for equality and democracy in the UK, it's perfectly suited to the radical city of Manchester.
The Museum explores the British working classes fight for social justice. It is set in a beautiful £12.3m redevelopment beside the River Irwell.
In addition to the galleries and regularly changing exhibitions, the museum houses an education service, Labour History Archive & Study Centre, Textile Conservation Studio, corporate facilities, a café and a shop.
I particularly enjoyed the section on the chartists and the working class movements.
The museum is open Monday to Sunday from 10.00am until 5.00pm.