Arts and Culture

Science and Industry Museum celebrates 40 years of innovation and discovery 

Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum, narrating the tale of the city’s innovations and discoveries since the Industrial Revolution, celebrates its 40th anniversary on Friday 15 September with several free events. 

The museum opened its doors on 15 September 1983 on Liverpool Road – near the site of Liverpool Road Station, where the world’s first inter-city railway began its journey in 1830. 

New Warehouse view from 1983 © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Since its opening days at the heart of the world’s first industrial city, the museum has been home to world-changing ideas, displaying innovative discoveries in science and technology.  

Sally MacDonald, Director of the Science and Industry Museum, said: “What happened here changed the world, triggering a revolution in trade, technology, travel, and time. It is where science met industry, and the modern world began. 

“We’re delighted to be celebrating 40 years in our home of global historical significance. I’m so proud of what the museum has achieved over the past four decades.” 

The anniversary events take place from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 September, and include a variety of intriguing activities, for everyone from history enthusiasts to those seeking a fun weekend with a taste of science. 

There will be talks, tours behind the scenes, birthday-themed arts and crafts activities, scientific party tricks performed by experts, and a fun birthday sing-along during the Revolution Manchester show – a free popular science performance. 

Spotlight Talks © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum. Photo by Chris Foster

Ms MacDonald added: “We’re dedicated to protecting and furthering this legacy by celebrating the technical skills of Mancunians’ past as well as highlighting the skills and pathways available to the next generation of technicians, engineers, and creators who can change the world. So, what better way to mark our 40th anniversary than with a host of STEM activities and experiences for visitors to enjoy.” 

Tying in with Heritage Open Day – a series of heritage events around the country – visitors also have the opportunity to enjoy a free ride on one of the heritage buses of the Museum of Transport, running between the Cheetham Hill-based museum, the Science and Industry Museum, and the People’s History Museum, on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September. 

Due to an ongoing multi-million-pound restoration in the museum, some galleries are temporarily closed, but there is still much to explore. 

Visitors must book free Museum Admission tickets in advance in order to enter the museum. For more information about the museum’s 40th birthday programme, visit the website

Main image: the Science and Industry Museum – New Warehouse Contemporary view © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

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