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Manchester's rich industrial legacy is explored in this excellent museum set within the enormous grounds of the old Liverpool St station, the oldest rail terminus in the world. The large collection of steam engines, locomotives and original factory machinery tell the story of the city from the sewers up, while a host of new technology looks to the future.
It's an all-ages kind of museum, but the emphasis is on making sure the young 'uns don't get bored – they could easily spend a whole day poking about, testing an early electric-shock machine here and trying out a printing press there. You can get up close and personal with fighter jets and get to grips with all kinds of space-age technology; the museum now includes an astronaut virtual-reality experience called Space Descent VR with Tim Peake. A unifying theme is that Manchester and Mancunians had a key role to play: this is the place to discover that Manchester was home to the world's first stored-program computer (a giant contraption nicknamed 'baby') in 1948 and that the world's first steam-powered submarine was built to the designs of local curate Reverend George Garrett in 1879.