I am the resurrection: Ancoats museum brought back to life for Manchester Histories Festival

One of the city’s last remaining Victorian shops will once again open its doors this weekend as part of the Manchester Histories Festival.

The Grizedale Arts Company are working with Manchester-based mental health charity, 42nd Street, to bring back to life one of the original features of the Manchester Arts museum, based in Ancoats.

The Horsefallen ‘pop-up’ shop will open for one week as a part of the city-wide festival which runs from March 21-30.

Horsefallen was inspired by Victorian philanthropist Thomas C Horsfall, founder of the museum in 1884.

Julie McCarthy, the project manager, told MM: “We wanted to create something that’s meaningful for Ancoats. Very few people know about the old museum and how important it was for Manchester.”

RESCURRECTED: Manchester Arts museum, based in Ancoats

After approaching The Grizedale Arts Company, the charity decided to create a contemporary interpretation of the model rooms.

There were originally two model rooms created as examples of how people could adapt their surroundings to make them more beautiful and enjoyable.

Alistair Hudson, from Grizedale Arts, said: “The model rooms were designed to show you how you should ideally have your home, like the modern-day interior design shops you see around here.”

Horsefall, who died in 1932 at the age of 90, was committed to showing how art and nature could stimulate the character, morals and skills of the working classes and is committed to improving the lives of Ancoats residents.

BUSY BEES: Getting the museum into shape

“We are trying to improve the world with produce from Ancoats rather than improving Ancoats with produce from the world,” said Mr Hudson. 

Horsefallen will trade locally-made produce such as food, textiles, knitted gifts and other items inspired by the Thomas C Horsfall collection.

The shop will also encourage people to create their own pieces of art that can then be sold from the shop and will provide residents of a local housing scheme with fresh produce.

Mr Hudson said: “The shop is almost a model room for the 42nd Street organisation and is designed to raise awareness and create more interaction with the community.”

ON DISPLAY: Horsefallen will trade locally-made produce such as food, textiles, knitted gifts and other items inspired by the Thomas C Horsfall collection

Horsefallen will open this Saturday at 11am.

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