Honestly, if you haven’t visited this museum yet, do! Even if you don’t think you have a passion for buses, it’s hard not to be wowed by the sight of over seventy of them, lined up in gigantic old garages in Cheetham Hill. The dedication and passion of the enthusiasts who help run this museum is so impressive. With no modern museum-style interactive technology in sight, the thrill is simply that of climbing onto some of these vintage buses and trams. So, if you have a child who is touch button crazy, then this probably isn’t the place for them.
Newly available are the children’s trail activity sheets, a collection of six images that you have to locate around the museum. Kept my kids happy! There’s a table for colouring and a little wooden bus where the children can change the destination signs and dress up in costumes. The majority of our visit was spent simply wandering around these historic vehicles: from the elaborately painted Victorian open-top horse-drawn bus and vintage trolleybuses; past the bright orange livery of the 1980’s Manchester buses; and finally up-to-date with the prototype for the trams that run in Manchester city centre today. Throughout the year a number of special events are held where some of the vehicles are fired up and you have the chance to go for a ride on them.
There are also replica period offices, preserved like time capsules; complete with antique decor, furniture and old ticket machines. Some of the collection, displayed in a glass cabinet next to the
tearoom, was actually used in one of the Harry Potter films.
We stopped in the friendly café for a Kit-Kat and an Eccles cake. 10 out of 10 for this quirky museum.
Weds, Sat, Sun and Bank Holidays. Every day in August. 10am-4.30pm. Adult £4, Children free.
Museum of Transport, Boyle Street, Cheetham, Manchester M8 8UW
Tel: 0161 205 2122