PORTLAND Basin Museum is 20 this month. So what better way to celebrate this landmark milestone than with a big birthday bash?
Since it opened in 1999, people have been visiting in ever-larger numbers to enjoy its many attractions and its picturesque canalside setting. It is the borough’s most popular tourist attraction, and thanks to the many online reviews and compliments it has received, it holds a Trip Advisor certificate of excellence.
To mark the special anniversary, the museum has teamed up with arts and theatre specialists Z-arts to create a unique family fun day on Sunday, March 24.
Visitors will be invited to travel back in time along the ever-popular 1920s street, meet characters, and help to solve a mystery. There will also be pop-up theatre, magic and live music, plus a chance to get crafty with birthday activities.
Cllr Leanne Feeley, Tameside Council’s executive member for lifelong learning, said: “Museums tend to be seen in terms of the past, but I believe they do a lot for the future too. Portland Basin has been helping people connect to our borough’s heritage for 20 years and I look forward to it continuing to do that.
“Some of the visitors from 1999 will now be taking their own children and grandchildren to learn about the Tameside of days gone by, and I feel very proud that the museum continues to inspire and educate new generations.”
Portland Basin Museum, which stands at the confluence of the Ashton, Peak Forest and Huddersfield Narrow canals, is housed in a former warehouse which opened in 1834. The building was brought back into use in 1989, and opened as a museum 10 years later after a major refurbishment.
It combines a lively modern interior with a peaceful setting to provide an exciting family-friendly museum.
There are temporary exhibitions, and a 1920s street where the sights and sounds of bygone Tameside are brought to life. Visitors can also explore the area’s industrial heritage and discover what life was like down the mines, or on the farm. They can learn about crafts and industries, look at historic machines, and try on hats.
A Nuts and Bolts educational play area caters for children under five.
Portland Basin Museum’s big birthday bash takes place on Sunday, March 24, between 11am and 3pm. Admission is free.