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CommunitySearch for Volunteers to Join Museum’s Pioneering Work With Historic Working Machinery

Search for Volunteers to Join Museum’s Pioneering Work With Historic Working Machinery

Join one of the city’s most visited museums for a pioneering programme aimed at preserving Manchester’s heritage and inspiring solutions for the future.

The Science and Industry Museum is hosting a volunteering open event on Monday 6 March from 10.30 – 12.30. The event will support its innovative work with historic working collections as it looks to build a dedicated team of volunteers to focus on these objects and help to inspire the next generation of engineers, technicians, makers and creators.

Science and Industry Museum © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum Group
Science and Industry Museum © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum Group

The museum is devoted to inspiring visitors through ideas that change the world, from the Industrial Revolution to today and beyond. It houses a world-class collection of historic moving objects, including original machines from Greater Manchester’s 19th century textiles mills, which gives insight into the historic cotton manufacturing process and life inside some of the world’s first industrial factories. The volunteering event is open to people of all interests and backgrounds aged 18 and over who would be keen to work with this collection and help to tell these stories.

Demonstration in Textiles pit © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum
Demonstration in Textiles pit – © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum
Textiles machinery © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum. C Drew Forsyth
Textiles machinery © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum. C Drew Forsyth

Attendees will get exclusive insights into the museum’s live engineering displays, as well as information about working with some of its most iconic objects and playing an essential role in sharing Manchester’s legacy with future generations. Budding volunteers will also meet with the museum’s team of experienced technicians and get involved in hands-on activities that give a taster of the different roles available. Places can be reserved by registering online.

Katie Powell, volunteer manager at the Science and Industry Museum, said: “The support of volunteers in helping us to run historic textile machinery is incredibly important. It means we can preserve the city’s cultural heritage by keeping the machines running and ensure future generations benefit from seeing these spectacular objects in action. Demonstrating this working technology helps to bring to life the stories of the people and ideas that powered the Industrial Revolution, and is key to inspiring the next generation to become catalysts for change in the 21st century.

“This is a really exciting opportunity for anyone who has an interest in working with these sorts of objects and the open event is a great way to find out more, ask loads of questions and discover all the ways volunteering can enrich lives. Experience isn’t necessary, but we’re also eager to hear from anyone who has worked with similar machines before and who could share their skills and knowledge with other volunteers.”

The event comes at an important time in the Science and Industry Museum’s development. A multi-million-pound renovation project is ongoing across its seven-acre site to open brand new spaces and make significant improvements to some of its best-loved galleries. This includes the iconic Power Hall, which houses one of the UK’s largest collections of working steam engines. When it reopens in the future, it will have a renewed focus on original historic engines with a compelling connection to Manchester, telling stories of the relationship between humans and engines and showcasing the impact skilled engineers, makers and technicians had and continue to have on the world today.

As part of the regeneration works, the museum is also embarking on a sector-leading decarbonisation scheme. In addition to showcasing Manchester’s pioneering role in the industrial revolution, many of the stories it tells will explore its own journey towards becoming carbon-neutral and its role in the next (green) revolution.

The museum already benefits from the knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm of more than 140 volunteers. From caring for its outdoor spaces to delivering in-depth talks and hosting engaging demonstrations, every person who gifts their time to the museum helps to inspire visitors from a site of global significance. Its collection of historic working machinery is a core part of its offer, and it is eager to work with a volunteer team dedicated to these objects.

For more information about the Science and Industry Museum’s galleries, collection and ongoing regeneration project, visit its website or register to attend to the volunteering event.

Olivia McHugh
Olivia McHugh
Staff writer
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