The Women’s Forum trip to Manchester’s People’s History Museum on Saturday 26th January was a wonderful day out. Six hardy women braved the January weather and took an early train. Although the cold and dark perhaps reduced numbers, it certainly didn’t dampen the spirits of those that went! It was especially heartening to see a new CLP member and a prospective new member on the day.
The museum itself has some fantastic exhibitions, and the ‘Representation’ exhibit is well worth visiting: reflecting how women have been depicted and patronised through history, how we have fought to change options and attitudes, and how far we have still to go to achieve true equality. The exhibit also shows how BAME and LBGTQ+ communities are continuing to be underrepresented and persecuted in today’s society. This, unfortunately, is a temporary exhibition and will be finishing in February, but is definitely worth making the trip. We felt the journey was worth it just for this.
The permanent exhibitions chronicle the history of the Labour movement and the struggles our predecessors endured to deliver us the freedoms and rights we enjoy today. Exhibits include the minutes of the first Labour Party meeting, items from the Peterloo Massacre, Michael Foot’s coat and posters and banners from days gone by. We all learnt things we didn’t know. Something that struck us all was how history repeats itself over and over again: the themes of poverty, unemployment, health care, etc., being often repeated.
It was hard to see everything in the time available but one of the great things our youngest member learnt was how to use a old-fashioned dial phone!
If you are able to get there, the museum is well worth a visit. The struggle carries on and we honour our predecessors by carrying on their fight, and remembering them by visiting the museum.