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 posts from the PHM team and other experts, with behind the scenes stories, coverage of PHM's exhibitions, events, and Learning Programme, and highlights from the museum's unique collection.

Commoners Choir walking on Kinder Scout © Commoners Choir

Skelmanthorpe flag: 50 Miles, 100 Voices, 200 Years

7 June 2019


To complement the performance of a specially commissioned song that celebrates the story of the Skelmanthorpe flag, on loan from Tolson Museum, on display in PHM’s Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest exhibition, we asked Commoners Choir member Catherine Long to describe this tuneful project and the 50 mile, three day walk it inspired.



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The Masque of Anarchy poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley © Working Class Movement Library

Shopping for new acquisitions

31 May 2019


Many of the treasures on display for the very first time in PHM’s Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest exhibition were acquired thanks to a joint National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) grant with Salford’s Working Class Movement Library (WCML).  To celebrate the opening of the Library’s Peterloo: news, fake news and paranoia exhibition, we asked Lynette Cawthra, Working Class Movement Library Manager to talk about the project which gave both institutions funds to go shopping for new acquisitions.



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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

The Great Manchester Run - What to expect

13 May 2019


The Great Manchester Run is a weird and wonderful annual event that brings together brings everyone together. Naturally, a team of Radical Runners made up of the museum’s community supporters, Trustees, staff and volunteers are taking part in this year’s 10k run on Sunday 19 May 2019. As such, we asked Jennifer Tomlin of The Great Run Company to let us know what to expect at the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run this year.



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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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