Austin your roving reporter says, “It’s Well Worth A Visit”
The Imperial War Museum North, Trafford Wharf Rd, Manchester. M17 1TZ
0161 836 4000
The Museum is situated on the Wharf Rd across the ship canal from the Lowry Centre in Salford and next to the ITV Studio’s, it is like no other building ever constructed. It sits in an area which in the not-too-distant past was all part of Manchester Docks (actually most of the Docks were in Salford) ships used to arrive from all parts of the World up the canal to save having to be unloaded at Liverpool, in its heyday it was a brilliant site to see the docks in full swing. Why do I know what it was really like because in my early days I used to drive cranes unloading the Clan Boats and Manchester Liners which used to bring in mainly tobacco and cotton. The docks were full of characters as you can imagine all with their own nick names, “OSS” only slow and stop, “Rabbit” who used to try and hide round any stacks, “GC” Gentleman Crane driver who used to wear a shirt and tie, the list went on and on. During the late sixties and seventies, it was a time for anyone who can remember of industrial unrest, strikes were rampant everywhere and this included the docks it was a nightmare, one day the checkers would be out, next the crane drivers then general workers it was tragic really, ships couldn’t get unloaded or loaded and it was the start of the end.  On the side where the museum is built was a dry dock, the men went on strike there once because the owners stopped supplying funds for feeding the two yard cats. For ten years or so it was a great place to work, hard men but great grafters and lots of fun. You could always tell what was being unloaded because you would see everyone in Trafford Park wearing new boots, kicking footballs about, taking big cans of paint home, or cans of fruit all sorts of things, there was always someone offering something like Dell Boy, “eer it’s the last one I’ve just got two left” As the work on the docks waned I went on to drive Container Movers known as four legs and giant sized stacker trucks, they were fun.
Entrance on Wharf Rd
Lights at night  Car Park
Lovely Cafe 
Tank Commander 
The Imperial War Museum was founded in 1917 to record the impact of War on individual people, service personnel and civilians alike. Today there are five branches where they continue to do the same, telling stories of men, women and children who have been affected by any war involving Britain or the Commonwealth. The IWM North brings a unique power to these stories, a power woven into the very architecture of the museum itself. It was purpose built to set the scene for the stories within.
A Harrier hanging from the ceiling
The Towers Attack Actual Metal from the Towers 
Field Gun
  A piece of Rudolf Hess’s plane
Every rivet and girder, every curve and angle is designed to bring a uniquely physical dimension to your experience, exciting and surprising at one turn, challenging and perhaps even unsettling at another. It is a dimension that lends impact to the stories behind every item on display, every photograph, diary and letter, every flag, medal. uniform and weapon. It provides the perfect backdrop for the uniquely immersive and interactive displays of site, sound, touch and even smell that you will find inside.
A Welcome to the US Troops

Info Sign

Slave Labour  inmates
A Matilda Tank
IWM North offers you an experience that you won’t forget, it was chosen from 71 sites offered to the museum, but the wartime history of Trafford Park helped it stand out. One interesting fact was that German Bombers used the reflection of the moon in the water of Salford Docks to help locate their targets, in response the authorities spread coal dust over the water to reduce its glare.
Flu Pandemic
Typical Rations Shot for saving Allied Lives
I sat in the mud and cried
A sea mine
One item I found mind blowing from more recent times is an actual piece of the US Trade Centre brought down by Terrorist attacks, now known as 9/11. At different times, such things as Air Raid sirens sound and the walls display large displays from history along with a commentary which takes you back in time, it’s a great experience and there are seats all around where you can rest a while to watch the displays.  
Ships Bell
A British  'H' Bomb A Merlin Engine from a Spitfire
Women at War
Engine from a Vulcan Bomber
There is no charge to enter the museum but at present you just book tickets online to gain entry, once inside there is a great shopping area displaying first class gifts and mementos along with a very pleasant dining area, the only charge is for car parking well I suppose they have to make some money. There are plenty of volunteers around inside to chat to about any of the items on display including retired members of the armed forces and US Marine in full dress uniform.  
Women at War
Great Items for Sale
Great Items for Sale
If you fancy a trip out this Museum is well worth a visit and isn’t too far to travel, it is easily located by taking Jnc 9 off the M60 it is also in easy reach to get to the Trafford Centre which is only 5 minutes away and the Lowry Centre is just across the canal, plenty of shopping and a nice meal could round off your trip.
Keep Safe and Keep in Touch with all your Family, Friends and of course all your Brothers in this wonderful Mark Degree.
Words and pictures by Austin N Fletcher. PGStwd.
Flixton Shepherd Eastwood Mark Lodge. No.1173