We decided to play at being tourists today and took the train in to Manchester. It was a mile walk along the disused railway track to Middlewood Station with trains once an hour.
We wanted to visit the Museum of Science and Industry, having visited some eight years ago on a hire boat while doing the Cheshire Ring. We walked along the canal and saw this fine horse sculpture tucked away.
Their show stopper item is the Stevenson’s Rocket, it was quite incredible to see such an old steam train (built in 1829), and how impressed folk were with it travelling 35mph – faster than a horse!
They also had a textile section, and demonstrations of the old working looms turning the raw cotton into reels of cotton. This is only a small sample of the number of machines that would have been in operation in a fully working mill, the noise must have been deafening.
Toby took a shine to ‘Baby’, a replica of the world’s first electronic stored-program computer built in Manchester in 1948. Quite a size when the phone in our pocket is more powerful.
We also had a look round the section with all the planes, and cars.
We had a go at the virtual reality experience, and a space experience hosted by Tim Peake. The views were from the International Space Station and then a landing in the Soyuz capsule. It’s the first time I’ve done anything like that, I’m sure we looked like a pair of muppets to those walking by, it was quite incredible to see the picture change as you turned your head, it made me feel quite queasy, there was no way I was going on the Red Arrows Experience after that!
Toby picked up a new coat having ripped beyond repair his much loved fleece, he also picked up a new pair of sandals. What a shame he didn’t by a new pair of boots, having discovered a hole in the sole on the way back to the boat! I fear we may have achy legs tomorrow as we did a lot of walking, thankfully there are no locks ahead!