The museum is only open on Tuesdays so we decided to head there yesterday. It is half term in Greater Manchester this week so the museum was predictably super busy, however the children seemed to enjoy the visit and it’s somewhere I will be heading back with them to, during the school term time when it’s a little quieter and I can look at things properly.
It’s situated in a former Police Station and lots of the original things remain including the cells and details the history of policing in Manchester.
It’s a treasure trove of information and it’s interesting to see the changing uniform of Police Officers as well as seeing the old cells and some of the weapons and such confiscated during the Strangeways riots of the early 90’s. One cell contained pictures of criminals from when mug shots were first introduced… so interesting to look at.
The museum is staffed (I think) by volunteers, many of whom looked to be former Police Officers. There were also some serving PCSO’s and Dog Handling Officers there. They were great talking to the older children about how the police dogs do their job and it was lovely to hear the Officer talk about his retired dog who now lives with him (not a house you’d want to break into!!).
There is opportunity to wear some of the police clothing and try on the different hats etc. They also had various sets of handcuffs to look at and truncheon’s etc. Mr D and Miss E are too young to understand the role of the police fully at the moment but they seemed to enjoy looking at the various items and we tried to explain what they’re for.
There is also opportunity to visit an old Court. It was actually recovered from Denton Police Station. I grew up in Denton and the Police Station is quite a prominent building. I hadn’t realised that when it was closed that the court had been removed and taken to the Museum. The wood used is gorgeous and there is opportunity to stand in the dock which was fun(!).
There are lots of people on hand and a numbers of Officers dressed in some of the older style Police Uniform.
Entry is free to the museum which is extraordinary for such in depth information. I will be taking my two back there soon to explore in more detail when it is, hopefully, a little quieter.