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Visiting Manchester? Don't Forget the Museum of Science & Industry

Updated on November 13, 2015

Being the first industrial city, Manchester boasts The Museum of Science and Industry, bringing to life the city’s past. The interactive museum offers an amazing opportunity to learn about Manchester’s achievements in science and technology as well as its role in Industrial Revolution. Located on the world’s oldest surviving station for commuters, consisting of five buildings, the museum has everything under one roof. With fun activities for both, adults and kids including experiments, investigations and demonstrations of various machines, the museum is an incredible place for learning and development of people belonging to all age groups.

History

The museum opened in 1969 as the North Western Museum of Science and Industry but outgrew in a few years when in 1975 the Greater Manchester Council agreed to purchase the place where previously the Liverpool Road Station was located. On 15th September 1983, the 153rd anniversary of Liverpool and Manchester Railway marked the re-opening of the museum with Power Hall being its first major gallery. The Greater Manchester County Council and the Electricity Council jointly funded the establishment of the National Electricity Gallery in 1984 which opened later in March 1986.

In December 1985, the museum took over the operations of former Greater Manchester Air and Space Museum which is presently called the Air and Space Hall. The restoration of the station was necessary to make the station buildings accessible to the public. Therefore, in 1987 heavy maintenance took place with reconstruction of the entire place. In the next couple of years, the Great Western Warehouse got renovated and the steam train rides were introduced.

In the early 1990s further restoration and renovation projects were completed and the total cost by 1997 had gone up to £5.5 million. In 1998, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the world’s first stored-program computer in Manchester, the Futures Gallery was opened which introduced the Baby computer as its “star exhibit”. 2001 saw the opening of UK’s first on-site collection store featuring articles from The Lancashire Mining Museum in Salford as well, after it closed down.

The £9 million redevelopment plan was given shape in 2009 when the Great Western Warehouse was revamped making space for businesses to operate. Along with that, “Experiment!” the science gallery was reincarnated and opened in December. The striking Revolution Manchester consisting of the digital sculpture and a 50-screen video wall was launched in January tying together two centuries of Manchester innovation, hence providing inspiration for a few ideas that changed the world.

In 2007, the special exhibition of Doctor Who: Up-Close attracted more than 225,000 visitors in nine months which set Guinness World Record in August upon having the largest-ever gathering of Daleks. However, in February 2008 the museum launched Body Worlds 4, consisting of preserved bodies which attracted media coverage and the response was beyond imagination with the visitor count reaching 819 thousand.

Things To Do

MOSI can be an ideal place to enjoy with family and friends. The fascinating galleries featuring some of the most outstanding collections narrate the story of the industrial and scientific past, present and future of Manchester. With so many activities under one roof, one trip might not cover everything!

  • Visit the Revolution Manchester gallery which is a digital and interactive journey through some of the biggest innovations of the city. It consists of the largest indoor media walls in UK, packed with pioneering technology making it a must-see for every visitor.
  • Their science gallery by the name of Experiment! got revamped and now consists of over 30 activities for families and children to enjoy.
  • The world’s biggest collection of working steam mill engines is also worth a visit in the museum. The Power House has these impressive locomotives.
  • The Air and Space Hall provides the visitors with a dramatic history of flights beginning from triplanes to skyrockets. You can even deign your own jet engine!
  • Travel back to the 19th century Manchester with living conditions of that era consisting of the replica Victorian sewer with its complete atmosphere and smells.
  • Get a chance to see the award-winning characters of the past brought to life at the museum and also enjoy shows in their epic 4D theatre.
  • Visit the Planetarium and take a ride on the replica of the 1830 Planet steam locomotive that recently got restored.

The amazing combination of science, technology and industry along with activities and interactive exhibitions give the visitors a good opportunity to learn through fun. Since it is located in the heart of Manchester, it is easy to get there. It can be reached through public transport or through a London taxi company in the area providing minicabs and executive taxi services in London. So discover the wonders of Manchester city including its heritage and railways, starting from the Roman times to the Industrial Revolution.

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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Looks like a wonderful destination.

      Very informative!

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