People’s History museum

People’s History museum, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

I never visited the People’s History museum before it was rebuilt, so I can’t say how it’s changed. The main museum is in the new section with the old "Pump Room" given over to rotating displays.

The first floor is dedicated to the peoples’ struggle before 1945, so you get the start of unions, the Chartists and Levellers and, of course, the Peterloo Massacre. Interesting fact, Tom Paine’s body is missing. Dug up and intended to be taken back to Britain it disappeared en route, possibly left in a pub.

The second floor covers Labour history since 1945, with lots of badges, Spitting Image puppets and the like.

There’s a lot of interesting stuff, with interactive bits and lots of original banners. However the descriptions read like they’re aimed at children. So I ended up with a feeling of patronising information overload.

There wasn’t much going on in the Pump Room, perhaps it’s between exhibitions. There’s also them Left Bank cafe on the ground floor, which I didn’t get the chance to try out and the archive centre in the basement.

All in all the museum covers lots of interesting stuff- I’ve found some things to follow up on- but it did feel like I was being talked down to. If you have little ones you want to radicalise I recommend it. If you want something more then maybe you need the archive section.