People's History Museum Blog

PHM is the national museum of democracy, telling the story of its development in Britain: past, present, and future. On this blog we share behind the scenes stories, coverage of our exhibitions, events, Learning Programme and highlights from our unique collection.

Rock Against Racism badge, around 1976 © People's History Museum

Protest playlist: A DJ's Mancunian highlights

24 May 2019


We’re exploring the past, present and future of protest throughout 2019, and have compiled our own protest playlist.

 Here our friend, curator, DJ and co-founder of Manchester Digital Music Archive, Abigail Ward shares her highlights from Manchester’s history of rebel music.



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Hacienda Zone © Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run

Rave zones, samba bands, choirs and DJ sets - the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run

13 May 2019




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Spinning mills on Union Street in Ancoats, around 1820. Science Museum Group Collection © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Cotton strikers, picketers & Peterloo

30 April 2019


Here at PHM we’re commemorating 200 years since the Peterloo Massacre; a major event in Manchester’s history, and a defining moment for Britain’s democracy.  We asked Katie Belshaw, Curator of Industrial Heritage down the road at Science and Industry Museum to provide some context about early 19th century Manchester’s expanding cotton industry.



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The Case for a Legal Minimum Wage, The Fabian Society pamphlet, April 1908 @ People's History Museum

#OnThisDay in 1999 the National Minimum Wage was introduced

1 April 2019


On this day in 1999 the National Minimum Wage (NMW) was introduced, the rate was £3.60 per hour (£3 for 18 to 21 year olds).  Here Darren Treadwell, Archive Officer at PHM shares memories from his first job in 1981.



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Hugh Hornby Birley portrait, oil paint on canvas, date unknown © People's History Museum

The captain of the Yeomanry at Peterloo

23 March 2019


To complement the display of a portrait of Hugh Hornby Birley, who as captain of the Manchester and Salford Yeomanry played a central role in the events that unfolded at the Peterloo Massacre, we asked author Jeff Kaye to share his research on Birley from his forthcoming novel All the People and treat us to an excerpt about the painting, now in People’s History Museum’s (PHM) collection.  



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