Even if some people claim Manchester’s reputation as the rainy city being mostly a myth, there is no doubt : it was raining when we were there :-)
It was a bit before Chinese New Year, and part of the town was decorated with thousands of red lanterns ! We started walking around St Ann’s Square, taking some pictures despite the bad weather, finally ending having lunch in Chinatown.
Walking with an umbrella and trying to take pictures is not the most amazing thing to do… Thankfully, there are several options for rainy days like these…
The museum of Science and Industry
The museum is built on the site of the world’s first railway station and consists of 5 buildings to explore. Admission is free which is always great :-)
The Manchester Mills were my favourite bit, especially the Texile Gallery. Manchester and its surrounding towns had been involved in textile business since the 15th century and this gallery is all about the cotton industry as well as other types of textiles and how they were made. It is an incredible place to learn more about that textile industrial past and how Manchester became an important centre for the cotton trade.
We saw these huge cotton machines in action. It was quite a shock to learn that it was common for the workers to lose their fingers or having complications from breathing in cotton dust. In addition, it was so noisy ! It must have been very difficult to work in these conditions.
The central library
The central library in Manchester is inspired from the Pantheon in Rome. On the first floor, there is the Great Hall, a large reading room topped by a dome, where you can find a lot of old books. It’s worth a stop, entrance is also free. Downstairs, there is always a temporary exhibit to visit !
Whitworth Art Gallery
The Whitworth Art Gallery reopened on 14 February 2015, and we were in town that weekend, how lucky ! People were queuing outside, very eager to get in. So we decided to have a look at the different exhibits as well, it sounded promising !
We walked through Sarah Lucas’s exhibition where multiple cigarettes were stucked together to form different objects. That was… interesting, let’s say.
The room featuring Cornelia Parker‘s work really drawn my attention. She collected old silver-plated objects and flattened them with a steamroller. Then she suspended them on wires from the ceiling. The effect was lovely ! The War room was also breathtaking. The entire room was covered with sheets of the red poppy paper used for the war commemorative celebrations.
The Texiles gallery was about historic and contemporary textiles with an environmental edge… I loved the peacock feathers, it was intersting to photograph, otherwise, there was a serious lack of information about the environmental impact of clothing. Some information were missing, too bad, I think it could have been great.