Imperial War Museum North
Trafford Wharf Road, Manchester, United Kingdom
0161 836 4000
Imperial War Museum North Manchester Reviews
War Museum on Salford Quays Mar 06, 2017
I visited the Imperial War Museum North in September 2013 and then again in October 2014. The museum is housed in a huge hangar-style building and has an open-plan layout.
The main exhibition space is split into 6 different 'silos' each with different war-related themes. One of the most emotive exhibits is a large piece of mangled steel from Ground Zero following the collapse of the World Trade Center in New York. During my visit, a picture show was taking place and the lights were lowered in the main hall while it was playing. It is still possible to view most exhibits while the picture show is playing. Indeed, I thought it added to the atmosphere of the museum. Picture shows take place at regular intervals from 11am.
Open 10am-5pm daily and free of charge although donations are accepted.
Address: The Quays, Trafford Wharf, Trafford Park
Directions: Take the tram destined for MediaCityUK from the city centre and disembark at the end of the line. From MediaCityUK, the museum is just a short walk away across the quay.
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Imperial War Museum Jan 02, 2011
The Imperial War Museum North is in a shiny new building in Salford Quays. The architecture is quite impressive on its own, designed to reflect earth, air and water (well, that’s what the architect said) and plated in steel. Entrance is free and disabled access seems fine, and most filmed material is subtitled.
It is a museum of war, but it emphasises the human stories rather than the hardware. All the display cabinets have accounts from people who were there included with the exhibits. There are, of course, some tanks and harrier jump jets to look at. But there are also the personal possessions of some people interred in the far east in world war two and some diaries and letters from the front lines of the Somme. There is even a letter written by a nineteen year old woman to her husband, telling him how much she loved him, that she sent the day he was killed in action. I challenge anyone not to be a little moved.
The museum sets great store by its multimedia approach, turning out the lights in the museum periodically to beam film and information onto the walls and play more firsthand accounts and sound effects of war. This is an incredibly
effective approach. In fact, I think you’d have to be careful taking any particularly sensitive small children into the museum because it would have scared me quite badly when I was tiny. That said, there are lots of
child-centred displays, information at child height and activities to take part in.
As this is an Imperial museum, it takes a very British-centric approach. It’s worth bearing in mind that, for example, there is quite a lot of information about British people interned in foreign wars but none about people interned by the British either in the war or in Northern Ireland. I don’t think that
detracts from the museum, myself – all war museums are biased, and the focus is very much on the human costs of war more than any propaganda about glories. There are also specific displays about the role of people from the rest of the commonwealth, women and about the history of people in the army who were homosexual.
There is generally a temporary exhibition. When I went it was focusing on the role of the Navy, and that was fascinating too.
This museum is fascinating, and free. That makes it a very good place to take older children and anyone you know who is interested in either history, or looking at tanks.
Part of the 2011 - UK Hometowns travel blog
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