If you’ve been to the museum recently or if you follow us online, you’re probably aware that our Power Hall is currently undergoing considerable restoration. It is one of the most beloved industrial heritage galleries not just in the city but in the whole country, and houses a large collection of working standing engines, the majority of which were built and/or operated in Manchester and the surrounding area.
When the Power Hall reopens in 2021, we want to tell our visitors more about the people who used the machines that kept Manchester’s industries, factories and businesses moving. To help with this, we would love you to share any stories you may have about the engines listed below.
This could be direct experience of working with the machines, the memories of someone they know who did, or photos of the engines and the people who worked with them. We want to put local people at the heart of the Power Hall’s story and talk about the individuals who helped to make Manchester an industrial powerhouse.
If you have anything you would like to share, please drop us an email at [email protected] with Power Hall memories in the title.
This engine was located in Milnrow, Rochdale, and the picture below shows Billy Hardwick, who we know ran the engine. We’d like to hear from anyone who knew Billy and could give us some more information about his life and work.
Robinson gas engine
This type of engine was used in chip shops to peel potatoes and power fryers. We’d love to hear from anyone who worked in, or knows someone who worked in a chip shop with one of these engines.
Crossley atmospheric gas engine
This was used to power a dough mixer in a local bakery, but we don’t know which one. Again, it would be fantastic to hear from anyone who worked with, or knows someone who worked with this engine and what the work in the bakery was like.
Diagonal engine, made by John Wood
This engine was used at Frankenstein Rubber Regenerators in Newton Heath and it drove a calico printing machine.
Vertical engine, made by John Chadwick
This one was used at Simplex Circulume, a lighting manufacturer in Salford. We’re looking for information about how it was used and anyone who worked with it.