Chester U3A’s visit to the PHM

A very lovely guest blog from Sue Proctor MBE, JP, DL who organises trips for Chester U3A.  We promise these are all Sue’s words! If you’d like to write a blog about your visit then please get in touch at

I want to share my experience of visiting the People’s History Museum in Manchester because it was so good. I organise trips for members of Chester University of the Third Age and took 28 people on 1st July. We enjoyed The Hard Way Up play about Hannah Mitchell which was extremely well done and gave us a good insight into one woman’s fight for Women’s Suffrage and the working conditions from that time. The short anti-war poem was particularly poignant.

Chester U3A @ People's History Museum 01.07.15  (7) Chester U3A @ People's History Museum 01.07.15  (9)The displays and exhibitions provided something of interest for everyone. From the Textile Conservation Studio, and the banners to the stories of apprenticeships and the rolls of honour from WWI. My husband was delighted to discover the names of some of his relatives on one roll, but it was hard to see as it was very high up. Trying to take a photograph from lower down wouldn’t have been possible but the staff were amazing. They offered to get a set of ladders at the end of the day, and turn the lights up to take a good picture if they didn’t have a copy on file. Before we got back home the photograph had already been emailed to me.

Our coach driver had complained about problems finding a place to park up and keep cool – it was the hottest day of the year – and again the staff quickly responded by printing off details of possible locations. In fact every member of staff or volunteer we met was very helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. Must be a Manc thing!

The design of the building is superb, the café was very pleasant, especially the terrace overlooking the Irwell, the toilets were very good, access was excellent throughout the building and the quality and range of merchandise in the shop was impressive, in fact I couldn’t resist it.

My group is  diverse in age, interests, mobility and backgrounds. We all found something special at PHM. I knew that there would be lots of information about the Labour Movement but as a Lib Dem I was not put off! I would encourage anyone with an interest in the history of working people to visit Manchester’s People’s History Museum. You won’t regret it.