on April 23, 2008
The MSIM is a fantastic way to get a good look at the growth and origins of Manchester as an industrial city. There are five buildings, some of which were part of an old railway station. You can see old industrial machinery from the steam age, old trains, cotton mill equipment. There's a fabulous Air and Space hall with old airplanes and cars. They have one of the first mainframe computers on display though it's only a replica. There is a great interactive room for kids, called Xperiment, to investigate the laws of science and physics. The Victorian sewer is oddly fascinating They also have very good temporary exhibits. The last time I was there, the big exhibit was all about Doctor Who with props from the new recent seasons. One of the more interesting parts is the communications hall, with the origins and history of telephone, television, recording, photography, radio and print. It's in the Electricity Gallery in the 1830 Warehouse. Excellent stuff. Best of all, the museum is free for all for the regular exhibits. You could spend the day here to see it all. There are two cafes, one on the main floor and one up on the third floor. The gift shop has lots of neat stuff for kids as well as books and postcards and the usual types of things. It's fully accessible for the disabled. The free shuttle, the green line, stops by the museum for easy access. Check out the website for ongoing exhibitions, maps and detail on each area of the museum.
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