Sunday, 26 August 2007

Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester

Keith Watson visited the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester on Sunday, 26th August 2007, together with John Archer and Jan. The photograph above shows Lawrence and Bev looking on as Keith starts 'Planet'. Many thanks to Lawrence, Bev and Johnathon for making Keith's visit so special - he even got breakfast on the shovel. For more pictures of the visit goto Jan's photographs
Some of the stationary engines on display fascinated Keith. We took a good look at the sectioned locomotive 'Pender'. This was built by Beyer Peacock in Manchester for the Isle of Man Railway. 'Pender' is mounted on a 'rolling road' and the wheels and motion are driven by an electric motor discreetly mounted under the rear end. Cutting a locomotive open is never very nice but, of course, a number of her classmates were preserved and run the tourist service in the Isle of Man. It has to be admitted that a cutaway locomotive is a splendid training tool. I've seen 'Ellerman Lines' sectioned at the National Railway Museum and the sectioned locomotive at Delhi Railway Museum.
We moved on to the Pakistan Railways broad gauge 4-4-0, also a Beyer Peacock locomotive. I took a few shots of the inside link motion and the massive driving axle. The crank webs are 'hooped', presumably for strength. The cab sides carry a splendid brass badge.
'Novelty' next took our attention. Although it is a non-working replica, it incorporates the wheels and one cylinder from the original. There is a working replica of 'Novelty' but it resides in Sweden. The working replica ran at Manchester during the Liverpool and Manchester 175th celebrations. The photos of that event offer more pictures of some of the exhibits described here.
The original 1830 station buildings survive and the First Class booking hall has been restored to show the arrangements for 'checking-in'. We watched a little playlet where a married couple, the Chadwicks, take the train for the first time in 1830. This concludes outside next to the 'Planet' replica. It's both good fun and educational.
At this point, Keith had his driving experience on 'Planet' before we returned to the Power Hall to check out the largest exhibit - the ex-South African Railways Beyer Garratt, also built in Manchester. This 3 foot 6 inch gauge 4-8-2 + 2-8-4 turns the scales at 214 tons!
As if all this were not enough, there was an event taking place at the Museum that day to set a World Record for the number of Daleks in one place! I should perhaps explain that the Museum is currently hosting a very successful Doctor Who Exhibition - prior to the exhibition I had noticed very few Daleks in Manchester (well, none, actually).
All-in-all, a very successful visit to what is now being marketed as the 'Museum Of Science and Industry'. So, if you've not yet made a visit, why not 'Mosey on down to Mosi'? (Ouch!).