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.

The Jam, Sound Affects album 1980. Front cover of record sleeve

From Paul Weller to Peterloo

1 March 2019


To complement the display of a first edition of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s The Masque of Anarchy from Friday 1 March until the end of April 2019, we invited Dr Michael Sanders, Senior Lecturer in 19th century writing at the University of Manchester to share his insight into Shelley’s protest poem.

In his blog Michael reveals his first encounter with the poem on a record sleeve.



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1983 Bermondsey by-election campaign leaflet © Peter Tatchell

PHM's Playwright in Residence Blog 3 of 3

27 February 2019


Stephen M Hornby, award winning Manchester writer, is coming to the end of his time as Playwright in Residence at People’s History Museum (PHM).  During his time with us, he has written the first draft of a play called First Rumours.  The play is about seasoned human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell’s time as a Labour Party candidate in the hugely controversial 1983 Bermondsey by-election.

First Rumours, was given a first rehearsed reading at People’s History Museum on Sunday 10 February 2019 followed by a Q&A with Peter Tatchell, chaired by LGBT activist and historian Paul Fairweather.  In his final blog for us, Stephen reflects on the experience of having Peter Tatchell attend the rehearsed reading of the play.

Blog 3 of 3: Mr Tatchell meets Mr Tatchell



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WEA Course: Brewers to Sewers, a History of Public Health @ People's History Museum. Save Our NHS placard, 2018. Photo © Mark Krantz

From Brewers to Sewers

14 February 2019


People’s History Museum (PHM) collaborate with Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) to offer adult visitors high quality learning experiences.

Here WEA tutor Mark Krantz tells us about an upcoming free learning experience he is leading at PHM.



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From left to right: Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Amalgamated Society of Watermen and Lightermen & Withington Against the Poll Tax banners @ People's History Museum

2019 Banner Display: A newfound respect for the visual

7 February 2019


PHM’s 2019 banner display has been carefully curated to reflect key moments of protest in Greater Manchester and across Britain, representing a mix of creatively disobedient ideas and actions along the road to democratic reform, from the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester in 1819 to today.

We asked historian and Head Writer Peter Morgan, from our friends at The Radical Tea Towel Company to review our new display of banners.



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1983 Bermondsey by-election campaign leaflet © Peter Tatchell

PHM’s Playwright in Residence Blog 2 of 3

24 January 2019


Stephen M Hornby, award winning Manchester writer and Playwright in Residence to People’s History Museum (PHM), blogs about writing his new play, First Rumours, for us.  It’s about seasoned human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell’s time as a Labour Party candidate in the hugely controversial 1983 Bermondsey by-election.

First Rumours is given a first rehearsed reading at PHM on Sunday 10 February 2019 at 3.00pm.  The reading will be followed by a Q&A with Peter Tatchell, facilitated by LGBT activist and historian Paul Fairweather.  Booking essential.

Stephen undertook several lengthy interviews with Peter to write the play and this second blog is about a moment where it went a little wrong in the first of those interviews.

Blog 2 of 3: Mr Tatchell discovers he is gay



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