Wednesday 16 August 2017


 (almost) No cruising today

We took full advantage of being able to moor in the centre of Manchester. Jess had long been asking to visit the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) which her dad had told her about. We did not make an early start! But we eventually set off and walked across the marina to the New Islington Metrolink tram stop.

We were able to see both of the iconic buildings that were some of the earlier parts of the re-development of this former decaying council estate. The Chips building has that name as it is said to resemble a stack of (only three) chunky chips.

At the tram stop we had to study the information board to work out what tickets we needed but soon our tram arrived - at the same time as one came from the opposite direction.

We alighted at Deansgate-Castlefield having passed through the centre of Manchester. Jess spotted that the tracks here are in-filled by dense sedum planting. A helpful station guide pointed us in the best direction for the museum.

Having orientated ourselves at the main entrance and then bought a souvenir guide, Jess decided that the best place to start was the Air and Flight Hall - but that was back outside and across to another building that was originally constructed as a market hall.

The exhibits showed some of the earliest planes, including the first all-British plane, that led soon after to the formation of AV Roe, one of the more famous engineering companies of the first part of the 20th century.

At one time it was possible for talented amateurs to build planes at home - although this one eventually had to be scrapped as it had serious design faults.

All three of us bought tickets to take a ride in the Red Arrows simulator. It proved rather interesting as we were taken through a typical team display. However, we were sure that the real pilots would be subject to much stronger forces than we were! What did surprise us was the speed at which the manoeuvres take place and other planes appear as if from nowhere.

Overall, the hall had examples of many important landmarks in the evolution of air flight developed by companies in and around Manchester.

From there we headed back to the main site and into the Power Hall where we saw both static engines and locomotives.

The earliest First Class carriages were based on designs for horse-drawn stage coaches with which they initially had to compete.

Back outside it was time to find something to eat. We opted to go to the Bistro on the top floor. The food was good quality at a reasonable price and all enjoyed what they ordered.

We took our time and after a look around the Experimentation gallery with its hi-tech displays of basic physics, it was time to go back to the Power Hall for the 3 o'clock demonstration of one of their engines.

It turned out to be the hydraulic pumping engine that we had taken a good look at earlier. Long before the National Grid, the hydraulic companies were the first to be able to supply energy to a number of premises, both homes, businesses and hotels. It was originally steam powered but later converted to run from electricity.stamp making and printing activity

A brief look at several other galleries, and a chance for Jess to have a go at the stamp and printing activity, kit was time then to head to the Textile gallery for their demonstration at 4 o'clock. Here, in one close collection, we could see the process of producing cotton cloth from the huge imported bales of raw cotton, through the carding and spinning right through to weaving.

By the time that had finished we felt that it was time to head back to the boat. Walking back to the tram stop we took a brief explore of Roman gardens which Christine and Jess had noticed on our way this morning. Fairly recent excavations when sites have been re-developed have given a better idea of how the Romans built their fort here - in the distance of the photo can be seen a reconstruction of what the fort main gate might have looked like.

We only went as far as Piccadilly as Mike wanted to pick up the train tickets for Friday which we had ordered on line last night. Just as well we had the chance of a rehearsal of the route between here and the marina as we went a rather circuitous way that took rather longer than it should!

The reason for the 'almost' in the title is that, just before dinner time, we moved across to the opposite side where there is a water tap. The gauge for our tank was at its lowest we have seen! However, we left it late to avoid the possibility of someone coming in and attempting to occupy 'our' mooring.

No comments:

Post a Comment