Day Four, Friday 5 September.
Museum of Science and Industry was not on our “where to go” list since I thought it would be too similar to the science centre here in Singapore which we had visited several times. However, since we wanted to go to the town hall, and the museum was somewhere between our hotel and the town hall, we decided to go there to have a look around.
I’m so glad we went there. The museum was fantastic! We ended up staying there the whole day….
There was a “show” in the main hall. It was more like a small presentation about what the museum had to offer.
The museum is very big. It is spread across five historic buildings, with permanent galleries and also temporary exhibitions.
The textiles gallery in the Great Western Warehouse building was the first one we visited. It was very interesting. We learned a lot about Manchester’s textile industry in that gallery. There were working machines, and we could watch cotton being spun into yarn and turned into cloth.
Next, we went upstairs to the Experiment gallery. It featured interactive science exhibits, many of which could also be found in the Science Centre here in Singapore. But the kids still had so much fun there! In fact, we visited the Experiment gallery again that day, before we left the museum.
We had a quick lunch at the cafe, located next to the Experiment gallery, and then went to the Power Hall building.
The Power Hall building is the place to see one of the biggest collections of working steam mill engines in the world. It also has oil, gas, hot-air and diesel engines, and a collection of locomotives.
Carla and Renan loved watching all of those big engines!
Next, we went to the Station Building. We saw the Liverpool and Manchester Railway exhibition there. We thought there was nothing more to see in the building and were going to leave when we accidentally found the entrance to the Underground Manchester gallery. It explained the story of Manchester’s water supply and sanitation system from Roman times to the present day. Carla and Renan were thrilled! Of course! All kinds of toilets everywhere!
We walked through a Victorian sewer (built using bricks from a real Manchester sewer from late 1830s), and finally emerged in front of the entrance to The Making of Manchester gallery. This gallery told the story of Manchester from Roman times to the present day.
We then went to the 1830 Warehouse building. Unfortunately, a large area of the building was closed since they were preparing some new exhibitions there.
We decided to go back to the Power Hall building, since the kids wanted to see the engines again. We had a break at the cafe close to the main entrance, went back to the Experiment gallery upstairs, and then we went to the Air and Space Hall across the road.
We saw a large collection of aeroplanes, helicopters, cars and motorbikes there.
By the time we finished, it was already close to 5 pm. We had been walking around almost non-stop since 10 am! We took the free metroshuttle bus and went back to the hotel.
If you go to Manchester, you really should visit this museum! Admission is free, although a voluntary donation of £3 is much appreciated.
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