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Science and Industry Museum asks for stories to mark 50th birthday

The old North Western Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester Creative Commons 2.0
Image copyright David Dixon, licensed for use under Creative Commons

For immediate release

This October will mark 50 years since the creation of The North Western Museum of Science and Industry, now known as the Science and Industry Museum, in Manchester. 

To mark the occasion, the museum team are looking for stories of the impact that a trip to the museum has had on people's lives. From inspiring a love of science to influencing a career choice or even as a venue for a first date with the person who went on to be the love of your life, they want to hear from you!

Opened in 1969, the North Western Museum of Science and Industry quickly outgrew its temporary premises on Grosvenor Street in Chorlton-on-Medlock. When Liverpool Road Station closed in 1975, Greater Manchester Council agreed to purchase it to become the museum’s new home. 

Over the years the museum has hosted exhibitions including Body Worlds, Robots and its latest exhibition, The Sun, and has led projects including building replicas of the world’s first stored programme computer, Baby, and the iconic locomotive, Planet. 

The Power Hall, currently undergoing a multi-million-pound refurbishment, is also home to Europe’s largest collection of working steam engines. 

Sally MacDonald, Director of the Science and Industry Museum, said:

“This is such an exciting year for us as work starts on restoring our beautiful Power Hall to full working order, and we move closer to opening our Special Exhibitions Gallery, which will host the very best science exhibitions.

“Celebrating our 50th birthday gives us the opportunity to look back, as well as forward, to the founding ambition of Dr Richard Hills, who wrote in his reminiscences that the purpose of the museum was ‘to arouse the interest of young people, to play a valuable role in helping to increase the recruitment and training of scientists and technologists and... to provide a convenient place for the meeting of arts and science minds.'

“We know that this museum has been inspiring people for the last 50 years—whether you’re someone who’s been inspired to go on to take up a career in science, whether you’ve been inspired creatively, or whether you just have happy or funny memories, photos or film of visits to the museum over the years... please do share them with us.”

The celebrations will also include science-themed birthday shows and activities in October half term.  

Stories, videos and photographs can be submitted via the museum website, or at the museum over the weekend of 16 and 17 October.

NOTES TO EDITORS

For more information, contact Kate Campbell-Payne, Communications Officer at the Science and Industry Museum, on kate.campbell-payne@scienceandindustrymuseum.org.uk or call 0161 606 0213.

Download hi-res images here

ABOUT THE SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY MUSEUM

The Science and Industry Museum tells the story of where science met industry and the modern world began. Manchester was one of the first global industrial cities, and its epic rise, decline and resurrection has been echoed in countless other cities around the world. From textiles to computers, the objects and documents on display in the museum tell stories of everyday life over the last 200 years, from light bulbs to locomotives.  The museum's mission is to inspire all its visitors, including future scientists and inventors, with the story of how ideas can change the world, from the industrial revolution to today and beyond. 

The Science and Industry Museum is part of the Science Museum Group, a family of museums which also includes the Science Museum in London; the National Railway Museum in York and Shildon; and the Science and Media Museum in Bradford. The Science Museum Group is devoted to the history and contemporary practice of science, medicine, technology, industry and media. With five million visitors each year and an unrivalled collection, it is the most significant group of museums of science and innovation worldwide.