Greater Manchester Police Museum

You can live somewhere for years and never bother seeing things that are right beside you. I must have walked past the Greater Manchester Police Museum on Newton Street hundreds of times since we moved to the Northern Quarter, but I'd never been in, even though I do have a sneaky interest in old crimes and suchlike. One reason why I'd never been is that the museum's only open on Tuesdays, but with Mrs J meeting a friend for lunch and today being Tuesday, I decided I'd pop round and see what was in there.

As you can see, a lunchtime feed and a short ride in the pram was enough to send G off to sleep, so I was able to push her around the museum without any trouble. I remember hating being forced to go around museums when I was a young child, and constantly complaining about it whenever my mum wanted to visit one. No doubt G will be the same, so it's probably not a bad idea to take advantage of the fact she's not yet old enough to understand what's going on. My museum-hating lasted well into my teens, so there's likely to be a long period ahead when I don't get to see much interesting historical stuff without a soundtrack of whingeing and, if G gets a little brother or sister, bickering.

As it was G slept right through my hour or so inside the small museum, which is in an old police station that closed for the last time in 1978. Among the interesting things to see are a variety of uniforms, including an amazing one from the 1840s which featured a very fetching top hat. The old cells are all still there along with a collection of 19th century mugshots, in which lots of the suspects deliberately tried to pull a gurning face so they couldn't be recognised, something that I must remember to try next time I'm arrested. For fans of more recent history there's also a smashed in prison door and some homemade weapons used in the Strangeways Riot. All very interesting and also free, so well worth checking out if you're ever in the area.

I've realised that most of the pictures of G on this blog are of her sleeping because, well, that's when she looks at her angelic best and those are the only times I actually remember to find the camera and take a picture. But she's quickly developing a much wider range of expressions when she's awake, and is even threatening to give us the odd smile. Haven't managed to catch one of those in a photo yet, but here's one of her from last night, resolutely refusing to go to sleep.