Salford Museum & Art Gallery: #surprisingsalford #16

Peel Park Jan 2017 (2).JPG
Salford Museum & Art Gallery

The handsome red brick building of Salford Museum and Art Gallery overlooks Peel Park and is within the Salford University campus.  The building started out as a private house, a mansion known as Lark Hill, and opened as the UKs first unconditionally free public library in 1850, the museum and art gallery following a few months later.  The facility was quickly popular and received an astonishing 1,240 visitors a day in its first year.

Today the library is no longer here but, as well as permanent exhibitions, the Museum and Art Gallery has changing exhibitions of works of arts and stories of the history of Salford, so it is always worth a visit.  The exhibition spaces are light, airy and uncluttered.  The entrance is always welcoming and has something interesting to browse thorugh.

The Victorian Gallery with its stunning ceiling has art works collected from that era.  The Pilkington Gallery showcases items from Pilkington’s, a local firm that created decorative tiles and pottery.  The company was formed by four Pilkington brothers in 1893 and in 1904 they began making pottery in the art nouveau style and their work rivalled that of famous pottery firms from Stoke-on-Trent [or The Potteries].  Salford Museum’s Pilkington collection contains a wide range of the ware Pilkington’s produced between 1900 and the 1970s and when the factory closed in 2010 the museum acquired the Pilkington archive.  This gallery is full of vases, bowls, plates and tiles that are vibrant and beautiful.

Bringing the outside in, Lark Hill Place is a recreation of a Victorian northern shopping street, with gas lamps, a chemists, blacksmiths, toy shop and the Blue Lion Pub [this is recreated from a number of Salford pubs and the original Blue Lion was on Cook Street by the brewery] .  Many of the shop fronts were originally in the streets of Salford and were saved as the city developed and the old shops were demolished.







Author: Back on the Road Again Blog

I write two blogs, one about my travels in our campervan and living well and frugally and the second about the stories behind the people commemorated in memorial benches.

9 thoughts on “Salford Museum & Art Gallery: #surprisingsalford #16”

  1. We went to the Victorian Lark Hill St a few times with school, then I recall seeing L.S.Lowry work on display upstairs, who I seem to recall lived near us in Pendlebury/Swinton (Station Road, I think?)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Carol
        I’m Boltonian through and through. Steve is the Salford lad. Lived in Pendlebury and Irlams o’th’ Height through his school years

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      2. Yep, I used to work for Colgate Palmolive, T/Park, one of the security guards was Albert Scanlon, a Munich Disaster survivor, he lived on Langworthy Road and I always wondered if he felt bitter still working into his 60s but was never brave enough to ask him. Steve

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      3. I enjoy your Salford blogs, I schooled at Ambrose Barlow, Swinton. Spent every hour on Victoria Park, Swinton playing Footy, Tennis, The Fool and every Saturday in Manchester Centre. My first pint cost 49p in Clifton, near Pilkington Tiles … It would have been 50p had we gone in the lounge.

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      4. Our son did his year working during his degree at Colgate. He was the last Salford University placement they had before they moved production to Poland … very sad and we missed the cheap toothpaste:-) interesting about Albert Scanlon. We were at Salford Lads Club on Sunday and they have the membership card for Eddie Colman who died in the Munich disaster enlarged on the wall.

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      5. I was there when they announced the closure, I secured a job at Head Office, Guildford and we moved south about 9 months before the last tube came off Salford production line. For many reasons it was the best and worst move we ever made. We have a fantastic framed picture on our landing I was allowed to take off a wall in the factory and I also returned after the closure for a quick tour (as the security guard turned a blind eye).

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