The People's History Museum in Manchester, is concerned with preserving and displaying evidence of the lives of working people in Britain, mainly arising from the last 200 years of the organised labour movement. Much has been documented about the lives and exploits of the rich and famous historical figures, so this museum aims to redress the balance. Artefacts, paintings, photos, films and oral memories, allow visitors to find out about life in the working classes over the centuries.
There is a rich collection of political cartoons and posters from the 18th and 19th centuries. This is the largest collection outside of the British Museum, and is telling of the attitudes and political feelings of the time. All the key figures from Britain's political history are featured in amusing and often insulting ways! A huge amount of badges, tokens and medals relating to trade unions and political parties also feature in the museum's displays.
Banners were the most prominent way that marchers, unions and parties could proudly display the name of their group. Photos and drawings of parades nearly always show great, colourful banners being held up high at the front of the procession. The People's History Museum holds the world's largest collection of these banners, the oldest belonging to the Liverpool Tinplate Workers of 1821. Often the banners were elaborately embroidered with intricate patterns, decorations and lettering. The museum has its own textile conservation studio to restore and protect these socially historic items. Visitors are allowed to view this section, and see the delicate work being carried out.
People’s History Museum,
Tel: 0161 838 9190