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By Mike Perry on

Rocket Returns: A social media montage

Stephenson's Rocket has returned to Manchester for the first time in over 180 years. Naturally, the Science and Industry Museum gang were all out in force to document its arrival on social media.

Please note: Stephenson’s Rocket is no longer on display at the Science and Industry Museum. To find out what exhibitions and activities are open today, visit our What’s On section.

You may have seen the signs around town…

Or perhaps you’ve even seen our snazzy GIF about it…

Yes, the rumours are true. The legendary loco, Stephenson’s Rocket, has returned to Manchester for the first time in over 180 years.

Earlier in the year, Rocket left our sister site in London, the Science Museum, and made its way to spend some time with our friends at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle, where it was on display as part of the Great Exhibition of the North.

Last Thursday (20 September) though, Rocket left the North East and set off across the country to join us here at the Science and Industry Museum, situated on the same site that Rocket used to operate from over 180 years ago, on the Liverpool & Manchester Railway.

Now, I could chronicle the whole thing here in lovely, flowing prose, romanticising Rocket’s return, but the museums’ respective marketing teams and various other members of staff have done a fantastic job in documenting the journey across social media, essentially doing my job for me. So, without further ado…

Some 150 miles later:


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Hello Rocket ???????????? #rocketreturns

A post shared by Science and Industry Museum (@scienceandindustrymuseum) on

(Top marks to our Contemporary Science Programme Producer Gina for using ‘choo choo’ here; none of this ‘toot toot’ nonsense…)

And as if by magic (but actually, after removing our front doors and diverting everybody through the café and gift shop for a week to make space for it), Rocket makes it inside:

Day 2, and we’re now attempting to move Rocket into place…

Making sure everything is in order inside…

And reattaching that iconic chimney.

And here it is in all it splendour in our Revolution Manchester gallery, awaiting its adoring public:

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