In Praise Of Urbis

Mrs J has gone away to a hen party, which makes today my first full day home alone with G. So I decided to take her out to another of Manchester's museums. A friend is up from London and wanted to see the new exhibitions on UK hip hop and the history of TV in the north-west currently on at Urbis, so all three of us went along. Both of the exhibitions were particularly good, with lots of interesting archive stuff to see. I was particularly taken with all of the vintage Granada programmes being shown in the TV exhibition, although amidst all the eulogising about the wonder of Manchester's TV history there was sadly no mention of Granada Men and Motors and the short-lived show presented by Vanilla Ice and Jordan. Can't think why.

G wasn't quite so impressed, in fact she slept the whole time, which at least meant we could take in everything at our leisure. As you can see, the photo above shows G completely ignoring a collection of hip hop magazine covers. Don't let her verdict put you off though, both of the exhibitions are on until the spring and I'd recommend each of them if you get the chance to go. In fact there are plenty of good reasons to visit Urbis anytime, including the beautiful building itself, the family-friendly cafe, and the fact that it is free, which you don't have to be Scottish to approve of. After a controversial start to its existence back in 2002, Urbis has now become of the best things about Manchester.

However, it looks like things are going to change. The trustees of the National Football Museum in Preston want to move it to Urbis, and they will probably get their wish. Basically not enough people visit the museum at its current location, so it loses money. The people who run it reckon they could get four times as many folk through the doors if it were housed at Urbis. No doubt they're right, and if there's going to be a football museum anywhere it may as well be in Manchester. But if Urbis fills up with balls and caps and scarves, there won't be much space left for the sort of exhibitions I went to see today. More's the pity.


Kath@Parklover said...

We went to "Home Grown" a couple of weeks ago and loved it - despite being perplexed at the lack of a mention for the Wee Papa Girl Rappers...I have some good photos of my 2 year old listening to the earphones, we had to tear her away. Will be very sad fi such exhibitions are no more.