Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum’s Power Hall is currently being renovated. It is one of the most beloved industrial heritage galleries in the country and the city, housing a large collection of working standing engines, the majority of which were built and/or worked in Manchester and the surrounding area.

When Power Hall reopens in 2021, the museum wants to tell visitors more about the people who used the machines that kept Manchester’s industries, factories and businesses moving.

“This could be their experiences of working with the machines themselves, the memories of someone they know who did, or photos of the engines and the people who worked with them in action. We want to put local people at the heart of the story and talk about the individuals who helped to make Manchester an industrial powerhouse. ” says Kate Campbell-Payne from the Communications Team.

Firgrove Mill

This was in Milnrow, Rochdale and the picture below shows Billy Hardwick who ran the engine. They would like to hear from anyone who knew Billy and could give us some more information about his life and work.





Robinson gas engine

This type of engine was used in chip shops to peel potatoes and power fryers. They would love to hear from anyone who worked or knows someone who worked in a chip shop with one of these engines.




Crossley atmospheric gas engine

This was used to power a dough mixer in a local bakery but they don’t know which one. Again, it would be fantastic to hear from anyone who worked or knows someone who worked with this engine and what the work in the bakery was like.





Diagonal engine, made by John Wood

This engine was used at Frankenstein Rubber Regenerators in Newton Heath and it drove a calico printing machine.




Vertical engine, made by John Chadwick

This one was used at Simplex Circulume, a lighting manufacturer in Salford. They are looking for information about how it was used and anyone who worked with it.





 If you can help, please send them an email at with Power Hall Memories in the title.


  1. Where is the nod to coal mining. Forgotten about yet again. Last couple of a revamps made the experience worse by removing exhibits/parts of exhibits at the railway end to give the children running round out of control more space to do it. I use to go at least once a month but this last 10yrs I have hardly been. The thick layer of thick dust on everything due to lack of housekeeping does not help.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here