I’ve been coming to the museum since the early 1990s when I was very small. My favourite thing in the museum was the ‘Dirty Baby’, who was part of the slum housing family recreation in the former Making of Manchester gallery. I was fascinated and terrified in equal measure by the display, which showed the shocking living conditions endured by thousands of people during Manchester’s industrialisation.
The museum, and the display in particular, definitely played a part in my decision to specialise in industrial history, and ultimately pursue a career in museums.
When Making of Manchester closed a few years ago and the displays were being removed, my colleagues rescued ‘Dirty Baby’ and I now look after him (he lives in my bottom drawer!) This is probably
a bit very odd, but he had an important part to play in my career path, so I think I owe it to him!