The People’s History Museum is essentially a museum about working people in the United Kingdom. On its website, it claims to be ‘the national museum of democracy’, although the museum does take a very one-sided view on many issues and in many ways is more a museum of the trade union movement.
What to see at the People’s History Museum
The museum is located inside a Grade II-listed former pumping station and it chronicles the struggle for workers’ rights with displays about the Peterloo Massacre, 19th-century trade unionism and the co-operative movement. There are also exhibits about the women’s suffrage movement, the 1945 general election and the role of football in working-class culture.
The museum’s collection includes one of the largest collections of political material in Britain with around 2,000 political posters, 300 political cartoons, and thousands of trade union badges. The museum also has the world’s largest collection of political banners.
Much of the museum’s collection comes from the archives of the Trade Union, Labour and Co-operative History Society, the Labour Party and the former Communist Party of Great Britain which goes a long way towards explaining the museum’s political bias.
Visiting the People’s History Museum
The People’s History Museum is located in Spinningfields, just across the River Irwell from Salford. Most areas of Spinningfields are within a five-minute walk and the Central Retail District is within a 10-minute walk. The closest railway station is Salford Central, which is only a five-minute walk away.
The museum’s Left Bank Cafe Bar has a nice riverside terrace (great on a sunny day) and a good choice of vegan and vegetarian options available. However, there are plenty of other places to eat and drink within a short walk from the museum.
Most people who visit this museum spend around 1–2 hours looking at the exhibits.