Event preview: All Aboard, Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, until April 14 2013
As the heroes responsible for making the first non-stop Transatlantic flight, Jack Alcock and Arthur Whitten-Brown are forever captured in black and white shots, looking noble aside various spindly early planes.
When they returned to Manchester after their best-known journey in 1919, they were presented with a medal on behalf of the city. And in a special easter display at the MOSI, that gift has been brought out of storage and put on show alongside a propeller from the Vickers Vimy aircraft they flew in.
There’s also Lucky Jim – a toy cat which made the flight with them, described by curators as “cuddly” – and the chance to make and race an engine in a mock-up of the famous 1829 Rainhill Trials, honouring the opening of the first passenger train line, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830.
The museum actually stands on the site of the former Liverpool Road Station, so it’s a fitting place for some of the performances taking place during the next few days, when actors will be impersonating the first rail users in Britain, as well as Lady Mary Heath, who is said to have eaten chocolates above the Nile and thrilled the press via a pair of silk stockings when she made the first solo flight between South Africa and England in 1928.
Live music, storytelling, fancy dress opportunities and more also make up the programme.
- Open 10am-5pm. Admission free. Follow the museum on Twitter @voiceofmosi.