70 years after the intensive bombing of Manchester during the Second World War, rarely seen footage depicting the effects of the Christmas Blitz on Manchester city centre will be projected onto the Museum’s 27 foot Main Exhibition Space wall – at 1pm on Sunday 12 December. The film, called Manchester TookIt Too, was put together by the Co-Operative Society. It features remarkable scenes of Market Street and Manchester Piccadilly in the immediate aftermath of the bombings.
Watch as the dramatic film is projected above a Fire Fighting Trailer Pump that was used to combat the Blitz in Oldham. Discover more about the pump, a Fire Watcher’s Shelter and a barrage balloon through special Blitz themed Closer Looktours. These take place on Mondays and Fridays throughout December at 2.15 pm. Learn about the impact of air raids on local citizens and other British civilians including Robert Alexander, whose childhood collection of shrapnel is on show alongside a diary entry speaking of the dramatic effects of the Blitz.
Enjoy a range of Blitz themed family friendly events throughout December. Watch theatrical performances designed for younger visitors in What aPerformance, meet a charming rag doll evacuee in Billy’sWar family sessions and get hands on with real objects from the Blitz in TimeStack handling activities.
On 12 December you can also mark 70 years since the heaviest day of bombing on Sheffield during the Second World War. Meet TerryDeary, the acclaimed author of the stupendously successful Horrible Histories series, at the book signing for his new children’s novel, Put Out The Light, from 11.30am to 2pm. The book, which tells the tale of a child in Sheffield in 1940, will be available in the Museum shop, alongside a range of Horrible Histories titles.
Hundreds more nostalgic and quirky Christmas gifts are available from the shop, making the Museum perfect for a day out in December. Inspired and moved by tales from the Blitz on display in the Museum? Make the most of our Keep Calm and Carry On range and get the Hits From The Blitz CD of war time classics (£9.99) or take some no nonsense advice from The British Home Front Pocket book (£7.99).
Feeling cold this winter? Keep warm and carry on in the new Aviator Hat (just £20). Even better, splash out on the genuine RAF Irving Flying Jacket, available from £500. 1940s fashions are back in vogue. Ladies can learn how to put the look together by reading The 1940s Look by Mike Brown (£16.99), helping you recreate the fashions, hairstyles and make up of the Second World War.
From fun children’s gifts starting at 50 pence to £500 flying jackets, there is a Christmas gift for everyone at Imperial War Museum North. The Museum is a charity and all proceeds from sales of shop products support the work of the Museum.
Jim Forrester, Imperial War Museum North Director, said: ‘70 years since the Christmas Blitz on Manchester and on other northern cities, this is a great opportunity to see rare and remarkable footage of Manchester at its darkest hour. This, combined with the chance to meet Terry Deary and a wonderful series of family events, means this December is the perfect time to visit IWM North.’