Follow the sometimes tumultuous development of democracy in Britain when you tour this captivating museum set in an old Edwardian pump station.
Visit the People’s History Museum and delve into the captivating history of the campaign for democracy and worker’s rights in Britain. Displays cover approximately 200 years, from the Industrial Revolution to the present day.
The museum is housed in the only surviving Edwardian hydraulic pumping station in Manchester.
Start by exploring the main galleries, found on the first and second floors. The exhibits tell the story of the birth and spread of democratic ideas in Britain, starting in the early 19th century. Learn about the efforts to improve conditions for Manchester's workers when the city was at the center of Britain's Industrial Revolution.
Discover the driving figures behind the birth of British democracy and learn about the trials and tribulations faced by workers attempting to form unions. Topics covered in the exhibits include the formation of political parties, the General Strike of 1926 and the Suffragette movement.
Head up to the second floor to find out what happened after voting rights had been secured for the British people. Objects displayed here include banners, posters, ceramics and badges. While you are touring the galleries, go over to the speakers' corners where you can hear important speeches from times past. There are also hands-on activities for all the family in each gallery.
After an absorbing journey through 200 years of history, stop by the Left Bank café bar to recharge. Sip coffee, local ale or tea and eat seasonal British food while admiring the view of the River Irwell. On warm days, look for a seat on the terrace.
The People’s History Museum is located on the Left Bank in the Spinningfields area of Manchester city center. Several train stations and bus stops are within a few minutes’ walk of the museum. You can park, for a fee, on the street and in lots nearby. The museum is open daily, except for a few days around Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is free, although donations are welcome.