BEING A TOURIST IN MANCHESTER
Imperial war Museum North
22ND oCTOBER 2011
I love travelling. but sometimes unfortunately I have to work to fund my trips. So I have decided to explore my local area with the eyes of a tourist and share this with whoever is interested!
Do not be put off by the title. I am not interested in war, in fact I am a pacifist. but went along here because I had heard it was good.
I was not disappointed. The museum does not glorify war, rather tells the story of how war affects the life of ordinary people.
I have visited a lot of museums in the world and I am proud to say, nobody does this as good as the Brits.
I usually only can spend a couple of hours at a museum or art gallery, but I ended up spending most of the day here.
First I wandered around for a while, catching one of the hourly “big picture shows” where images are projected all around the walls of the museum with commentary from people telling about their experiences of certain war related events.
This one was about bombing in Baghdad street market. There is an installation of the wreckage of a car that was in the street when it was blown up.
Then I had lunch in the excellent cafe, passing through a corridor lined with notes written by soldiers i Afghanistan
. Some funny some moving, poems, jokes, eye witness accounts! some unreadable.
The food was excellent and home cooked. Braised beef, new potatoes with cherry tomatoes and mange toute. The cakes were also made on the premises. I had a eccles cake , recommended by the server, which was a bit pricey at £1 75p.
The view over Salford Quays and Media city is wonderful. The BBC have saved Salford Quays.
At 13.30h I took a guided tour. Well worth listening to the excellent guide, as she explained the history of the building, deliberately built and laid out, to be slightly disorientating, as is war.
After the tour I browsed the special exhibition of war correspondents. Again fascinating and very well presented.. Ironically as I exited the news of the death of Maummar Gaddafi came through on the live news feed.
This museum changed my opinion of war,usually as something that I do not get involved in.
I realised that sadly we are all affected by wars, even if it is only economically. Far from sitting smugly in our safe democracies thinking it could not happen to us, I realise it can happen any time, anywhere and the sad thing is that Britain has been involved in wars since 1914.
So, a Fantastic day out and highly recommended.
Free entry, but the car park is £4 and they ask for a donation of £4 50p for the museum guide. Of course you do not have yo pay this. I have paid much higher entrance fees in the rest of the world. So to me it is cheap at the price and if I go back I already have the guide. I would still make a donation though.
The other thing I noticed was how enthusiastic and friendly all the staff were. No sulky bored museum guards here!
By public transport, you get the Eccles
tram from Victoria staion, get off at media city and walk across the bridge.
23 October 2011, 9:47