A weekend trip into Manchester, we headed to the Corn Exchange, one time posh shopping area it saw a downturn in fortunes for a few years but has now been transformed into an eating mecca. Spoilt for choice, we eventually opted for Mexican food at Wahaca. Our last experience at this restaurant was in Covent Garden a few years ago. Son, then at his picky eater phase ate nothing and Husband wasn’t overly impressed. I loved it…. We decided to try again today, the deliciousness wafting from the doors could not be ignored.
A long wait for a table, it is obviously very popular but we had no problem hanging around, the table football game kept the gents entertained.
Eventually we were seated and this time were definitely not disappointed with the food. We all had something different and everyone was more than happy with their choice – absolutely delicious, a real explosion of flavours and the food and chilled out atmosphere was spot on.
Son was a wee bit impressed with the sinks in the toilets too….
Afterwards we decided to visit the People’s History Museum, the weather was wet and we wanted to be indoors so this was our choice. Many a time we have strolled past this building and never given it a second glance. Today we wanted to see what was inside.
The building looks modern from this outside angle but it was once a hydraulic pumping station and is now Grade 2 listed. It has been redeveloped, sits right on the River Irwell and apparently is near to the pub where Karl Marx and Friedrich Engles are supposed to have met in the 1840’s.
I loved the building – light and airy, it is a clever mix of old and new. The cafe looked very good but having pigged out on Mexican food we had no space left for anything else.
The museum covers social history from the time of the Peterloo Massacre to the birth of the trade unions right up to the present day. They claim to cover all political persuasions here and do have some Liberal and Conservative party information but it is most definitely left wing and Labour biased.
We had a look around one of the displays in the art gallery then made our way to the two main exhibition areas. They are divided into themes and follow a chronological order starting 200 years ago with the Peterloo Massacre.
The first gallery had lots of information and stories about Manchester during the Industrial Revolution and the terrible living conditions for the majority of the people. We found stories about the suffragettes and the battle for women to vote, the whole area finished up at the end of World War II.
The next level had artefacts and displays from 1945 onwards with much emphasis on politics and the political parties. They have an enormous number of old banners, including the oldest surviving trade union banner in the world.
We saw the minutes of the first meeting of the Labour party and Son had some fun with a couple of rather famous Spitting Image puppets.
The museum was free and had plenty of hands on activities and things for children to do in each area. Son was more than entertained, the whole place covers politics and reform in an interesting way. He particularly loved the life in a box exhibits – boxes here and there filled with items relating to someone’s life or job that you could pick up, touch and read about. They were based on real people.
We spent a couple of hours here, it most definitely has a left wing bias but no matter your political persuasion it is educational and interesting.