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Celebrating 40 years of groundbreaking ideas from Manchester that have changed the world

Manchester's Science and Industry Museum is gearing up for an exciting celebration, marking four decades of inspiring visitors with groundbreaking ideas that have changed the world.

Located in the heart of Manchester, this iconic institution has been a beacon of innovation since its opening on September 15, 1983.

To commemorate its 40th birthday, the museum is hosting a series of special events and activities from Friday, September 15, to Sunday, September 17.

Visitors can look forward to expert talks, behind-the-scenes tours, and engaging arts and crafts activities, all of which are free of charge.

A Legacy of Exploration and Innovation

Half Term at the Science and Industry Museum, Manchester – 21st & 22nd February 2023

The Science and Industry Museum has dedicated itself to uncovering Manchester’s rich heritage and the transformative ideas that have shaped our world.

Situated on the site of the oldest surviving passenger railway station, this museum holds a unique position in the world’s history as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and the world’s first industrial city.

Today, it continues to be a hub of scientific and technological innovation.

40th Birthday Activities

To mark its 40th anniversary, the museum has planned a series of special activities for visitors.

“Spotlight talks” will offer 10-minute insights into the pioneering Liverpool Road Station and its revolutionary impact on the world.

These talks will delve into the transformation of the station’s buildings into a museum and how it is charting a course for a sustainable future.

You can catch these talks at 10:45, 11:45, 13:45, and 14:45 on Friday and Saturday.

For those eager to explore the museum further, special walking tours will be available on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

These 30-minute tours will provide exclusive access to the museum’s historic spaces, some of which are temporarily closed due to ongoing conservation and repair work.

These tours offer a glimpse into the site’s role in the birth of the industrial revolution, allowing you to envision the lives of railway workers and passengers from nearly two centuries ago.

Tours are scheduled for 11:00, 13:00, and 15:00 across the three days.

Immerse Yourself in History and Creativity

Visitors can also get creative with birthday-themed arts and crafts activities during the entire weekend.

These activities will help you explore the city’s history of textiles production as you create personalised paper bunting and design birthday cards.

You’ll have the opportunity to leave individual messages expressing what the museum means to you.

Don’t miss the birthday sing-along during the popular Revolution Manchester show, a thrilling and free science performance taking place at various times throughout the weekend.

Additionally, you can witness the museum’s team of expert Explainers perform their scientific party tricks during interactive “curiosity stops.”

Explore with a Digital Discovery Guide

As part of the birthday celebration, the museum has released a new digital discovery guide available online.

This guide offers insights into the top 40 things to see, do, and discover at the museum.

From iconic objects to inspiring stories and interactive activities, it’s your digital companion to a memorable visit.

Free Rides and Cultural Adventures

During this celebratory weekend, visitors can enjoy a free ride to the museum and other cultural venues in the city.

In honour of Heritage Open Day, the Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester, offers the opportunity to hop on board one of its heritage vehicles.

A free Heritage Bus service will be available between the Cheetham Hill-based museum, the Science and Industry Museum, and the People’s History Museum on Saturday, September 16, and Sunday, September 17.

The Museum’s History

The Greater Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, now known as the Science and Industry Museum, opened its doors on Liverpool Road on September 15, 1983.

This date holds historical significance as the 153rd anniversary of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, the world’s first inter-city railway. The museum began with two buildings, Power Hall and 1830 Station.

The latter is the oldest surviving passenger railway station globally and was the terminus of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.

Over the past four decades, the museum has undergone significant expansion and renovation.

Additional historic buildings across its seven-acre site have been brought back to life, including New Warehouse and the 1830 Warehouse.

These renovations transformed the site into a dynamic space that not only tells the story of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway but also highlights Greater Manchester’s history of industrialisation, social reform, and innovation.

A Vision for the Future

While some of the museum’s beloved galleries are currently closed due to a multi-million-pound restoration project, these closures are essential to make significant improvements and unveil new spaces and perspectives for all visitors.

The project’s first achievement was the award-winning Special Exhibitions Gallery, a vast and flexible space that hosts some of the world’s most exciting science exhibitions, including the current world-premiere experience, Operation Ouch! Food, Poo and You.

Future renovations will revitalise the museum’s Victorian buildings, enhancing gallery experiences and offering indoor and outdoor spaces for all to enjoy.

This includes a new experience in the 1830 station, the Wonderlab gallery for families, improved entrance routes to Factory International, extensive outdoor landscaping, and opportunities for outdoor play.

These improvements align with the museum’s commitment to environmental sustainability, inspiring innovators to power the next green industrial revolution.

Sally MacDonald, Director of the Science and Industry Museum, expressed her pride in the museum’s accomplishments over the past four decades.

She emphasised the importance of protecting and extending the legacy of Manchester’s technical skills and contributions to the world.

As the museum celebrates its 40th anniversary, it continues to serve as a hub for inspiring STEM experiences for visitors, including countless school children who explore its wonders every year.

In its 40 years of existence, the Science and Industry Museum has welcomed millions of visitors, providing them with an opportunity to explore Manchester’s unique identity and the world-changing ideas that originated from this vibrant city.

As the institution embarks on its fifth decade, it remains dedicated to fostering innovation and inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers, and creators who will shape the future.

Join the Celebration

For more information about the exciting activities planned for the museum’s 40th birthday celebrations, including the downloadable discovery guide, visit the museum’s website by clicking here.

Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of this historic celebration and immerse yourself in the fascinating world of science, industry, and innovation at the heart of Manchester.

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