1829 Liverpool & Manchester Railway map

This ‘1829’ map (see below) is interesting as clearly many of our present railway lines are missing from it, although the map must have been drawn later as the Liverpool through Kirkby line (Liverpool & Bury Railway) is also depicted (as are other lines) and that did not open until 1845.

Look how Lydiate is spelt (you’ll need to zoom in on the photo) – LIDIATE

Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Note. Map photographed in the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), Manchester

Museum of Science & Industry in Manchester – Tired and a bit Empty

I love museums and always have done but I must say this one in Manchester disappointed me.

The day did not start well when we arrived at Ladywell Park and Ride to get a tram into Manchester only to find that on this particular line last Saturday the trams were being replaced by buses as maintenance work was being done. Obviously I’ve heard the dreaded words for rail travellers before ‘rail replacement buses’ but tram replacement buses was a new one on me, although sadly just as depressing in practice I have to say. It took forever to get into Manchester but we did have a scenic tour of Salford Quays along the way.

Note to self and advisory for others, don’t go to Manchester expecting a tram ride without actually checking that the trams are running.

The nearest I got to Metrolink – Trams passing each other at the G-Mex – one day I’ll get a ride on one I hope.

Having got to the city center the tram replacement bus travelled past the end of Liverpool Road, where we wanted to get off, so we could wave at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) and then dropped us off miles away from it having sailed (for whatever reason) past quite a few bus stops. But we finally got to the Museum.

First impressions were good, the entrance hall looked good, the welcome staff were friendly and the toilets and Cafe were fine too. Cafes in Museums have in general usually been poor in the UK and I’ve often wondered if poor spec cafes is actually a specification of the Dept. of Arts and Culture or whatever the UK Government is presently calling it. Don’t get me wrong the small volunteer/private museums where you can get little more than a mug of tea and a Kit Kat are great, it’s just that when you go to a National Museum you expect to be able to eat well at a decent price and rarely is this the case. But to give them their due MOSI had got this aspect pretty well bang on, so congratulations to them.

Stephen’s Rocket at MOSI

Sadly, that was about it though for me. We had a good look at the original Stephenson’s Rocket which had pride of place in the museum (it’s only there for another couple of weeks – until the 8th September) then toured the rest of the site. What struck us were the empty spaces especially in the former Liverpool and Manchester Station building and the lack of railway trucks and carriages etc. on the tracks outside of it. The Power Hall was closed for maintenance works and the separate building housing all the aircraft and vintage cars was also the subject of significant maintenance works (although open) and quite obviously an extremely leaky roof.

Crossley Limousine of 1909

MOSI seems to pitch itself as a museum of family entertainment with all kinds of activities taking place for youngsters but for the older generations I feel it looks tired and rather empty. I have little doubt that austerity will have played into the the maintenance issues or probably the lack of maintenance (due to lack of money) has led to an almost crisis maintenance regime where things only get fixed when they are really bad. But having said that I’ve been to this museum before, the last time maybe 15 years ago or more and I seem to recall it’s empty spaces from back them.

A giant MOSI mural on the side of a building

MOSI, in my view, needs a big injection of cash and a plan to make the best of it’s wide open spaces both inside and outside. Sorry it was a disappointment.

Merseyside – Where to see its preserved Locomotives and Rolling Stock – Posting 4

My previous 3 postings are available via the link below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2016/07/31/merseyside-where-to-see-or-in-some-cases-not-see-its-preserved-locomotives-and-rolling-stock-posting-3/

This posting deals with a couple of small steam locos at the Ribble Steam Railway and the Planet loco (a replica) at the Museum of Science and Industry (MS&I) in Manchester.

LUCY DOCKS

The first loco is an Avonside 1568 of 1909 ‘Lucy’ – see photo above and the link to the Ribble Steam Railway web page below:-

www.ribblesteam.org.uk/exhibits/steam/9-avonside-1568-1909-lucy

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The second is Andrew Barclay 1598 of 1918 ‘Efficient’ – see photo above. It spent it’s entire working life at McKechnie Brothers’ copper smelting works at Widnes – see link to the Ribble Steam Railway web page below:-

www.ribblesteam.org.uk/exhibits/steam/2-andrew-barclay-1598-1918-efficient

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The third loco with a Merseyside connection is a replica of a Planet loco (see photo above) which is usually at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, it being a significant loco on the world famous Liverpool & Manchester Railway. Here’s a link to a Wikipedia page about it:-

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planet_(locomotive)

Manchester – Ordsall Chord will impact appallingly on our railway heritage.

www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/planned-rail-bridge-connecting-manchesters-victoria-and-piccadilly-stations-will-cause-catastrophic-damage-to-heritage-site-say-critics-10498374.html

The Independent has the story – see link above.

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That the Ordsall Chord is required to relieve the railway bottleneck that is Manchester is a given but to do so at the expense of the historic Liverpool Road site of the Liverpool Manchester Railway is nuts!

I hope this last gasp campaign to save the site from unnecessary destruction will be a success.

Minister says 3 major museums in the north will not close

Like many folk I was horrified when I first heard the Science Museum had publicly said that to make ends meet they would be closing one of their 3 northern museums i.e. The National Railway Museum in York, The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester or The National Media Museum of in Bradford.

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I have visited them all over the years and great facilities they are too – see a couple of my shots above from a visit to the National Railway Museum. But don’t you detect a touch of a southern public sector view here that if cuts have to be made they are certainly not going to be made in the south?

I even signed a petition to save the Museum of Science and Industry where I often took Jen, our daughter, when she was a youngster.

From media coverage of this carry on you can also detect that the Minister responsible may be just a little upset with the Science Museum for saying what they did and who can blame him. Was it an ill conceived attempt to gain more money from the Government by publicly trying to make them squirm? I hope not. Whatever the reason for the embarrassing outburst the fact that Government has firmly stamped on the notion of closing one of these 3 great museums based in the north of England is very good news.

I wonder how many ears have been boxed at the Science Museum by Sir Humphrey type mandarins sent to quell the rebellion by officials who should have thought before they made public statements?