M Shed

M Shed from prince Street Bridge
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M Shed is an exciting and innovative new museum for Bristol that tells the story of our city.
Located on the historic dockside, Bristol’s flagship museum has been designed to retain the character of the former 1950s transit shed.

Three galleries reveal the fascinating story of the city and its unique place in the world. From prehistoric times to the present day, explore the history of Bristol through the objects and stories of the people who have made the city what it is today.

See amazing film and photographs, listen to moving personal stories, encounter rare and quirky objects and add your own memories of the city through the many interactive displays.

M Shed is a living museum, where stories of the past will spark discussions about the future- where YOU can contribute to the changing story of the city.

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm [closed Mondays]
Weekends and Bank Holiday Mondays 10am-6pm

Admission charges

FREE

When this museum opens, part of Bristol Museums’ Designated Collections related to Bristol’s role as a manufacturing city and major seaport will be on display here.

Other parts of these collections can be seen at Bristol’s City Museum & Art Gallery, Georgian House, Red Lodge, and Blaise Castle House Museum. Please contact Bristol Museums for more information if you wish to see a specific item.

The museums were Designated in respect of outstanding collections relating to the City of Bristol, including topographical paintings and prints, maps and archaeological collections. The collections relating to the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th centuries are particularly rich, and reflect the importance of Bristol in those centuries.

Key artists and exhibits

  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Briswool - Clifton Suspension Bridge

Briswool

  • 14 May — 12 June 2016

See the amazing knitted city of Briswool in all its woolly splendour. Explore the city, spot the landmarks and make your own woolly additions.

Briswool is a huge, intricately crocheted and knitted model of Bristol featuring all your favourite hangouts.

Spot well-known landmarks in knitted form such as the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol Zoo and the M Shed cranes as well as the infamous Bristol crocodile, a Banksy mural and Wallace & Gromit!

Coordinated by Paper Village on North Street, the City of Briswool has seen dozens of customers and staff knit and crochet numerous models representing Bristol from pubs to tiny bicycles.

The finished model includes the Knowle West Media Centre, Colston Hall, Zion in Bedminster Down, Beese’s Tea Gardens in Hanham and high-rise flats in Barton Hill.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/m-shed

Rastamouse

The Story of Children's Television From 1946 to Today

  • 2 July — 25 September 2016

From the earliest days of Muffin the Mule to the multi-channel world of today, generations of children have fallen in love with the characters and stories brought to life on the small screen.

The exhibition traces the fascinating history of children’s television, bringing together seven decades of iconic objects, memorabilia, merchandise, clips and images. From puppetry to CGI and live shows to dramas and fantasy, the exhibition looks at how the magical programmes of our childhood have created memories and nostalgia in adults and children alike.

The Story of Children’s Television is the story of all of our childhoods, and how television helped to shape the way we view the world around us. Join us for a wander down memory lane, to a celebration of children’s television, past and present.

This exhibition has been created by the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry, in partnership with the Department of Film and Television Studies, University of Warwick. It is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, BBC, Ragdoll Productions, ITV, Kaleidoscope and the Children’s Media Foundation.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Adult - £5
Concession* - £4
Under 16s – Free

Concessions*
Concessions are available with proof of identity for students, people over 60, ES40 holders, disabled people (carers free) and Friends of Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.

Website

https://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/m-shed

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Crane rides

  • 6 February — 30 October 2016 *on now

Experience a working crane on the dockside with trips inside the electric cranes and the Fairbairn steam crane, M Shed’s biggest exhibits! Watch the impressive landmarks at work and find out the vital part they played in the working life of the dockside.

Electric cranes
Take a ride in an electric crane cabin. A landmark on Bristol’s docks, these cargo cranes are a link to the city’s 1950s trading heyday.

The cranes are the last survivors of eight which were originally on the quayside and of over 40 which were originally in the City Docks during the 1950s.

Fairbairn steam crane
Climb inside the engine house of the Fairbairn steam crane – the oldest surviving exhibit of its type in Britain and a scheduled ancient monument – and see the boiler and watch the crane operating.

This innovative steam crane was built in 1878 by Victorian engineer William Fairbairn, to lift heavy loads from the deep holds of ships more efficiently than other cranes of the day.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Buy tickets on board on the day.
Electric Cranes – £2
Fairbairn steam crane – free, but donations welcome.

Website

http://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/m-shed/whats-on/crane-trips/

Mayflower trips

  • 6 February — 30 October 2016 *on now

The little steam tug Mayflower was launched from a shipyard at what is now Pooles Wharf on 18 May, 1861. She went to work on the ship canal between Sharpness and Gloucester and managed a working life of over 100 years.

Mayflower then spent 15 years narrowly avoiding the scrap yard before she came back to her birthplace in 1981 to be restored by staff and volunteers from Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives.

Since then, Mayflower has been a familiar sight in the harbour, running regular weekend trips for those who enjoy the peace and serenity of steam-powered ships.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Adults – £6
Child / Concession – £4

Website

http://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/m-shed/whats-on/mayflower-rides/

Pyronaut trips

  • 6 February — 30 October 2016 *on now

Pyronaut served in Bristol from 1934 until 1973, working particularly hard in the Blitz in 1940-41.

In 1940, Pyronaut was faced with her most challenging fire-fighting period, as the air raids of the Bristol blitz damaged and destroyed countless warehouses, factories, shops and homes around the Floating Harbour. During this time, she was constantly manned and worked through some of the worst raids of the war.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Adults – £6
Child / concession – £4

Website

http://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/m-shed/whats-on/pyronaut-trips/

John King trips

  • 6 February — 30 October 2016 *on now

Built by the last major Bristol shipbuilder, John King spent 35 years towing on the river. She also had special duties, which included supplying drinking water to ships in dry dock, assisting at ship launchings and putting vessels into dry dock and occasionally pulling grounded vessels back into deep water.

But as trade to the Bristol docks declined and motor ships became less reliant on tugs, John King’s workload gradually disappeared. Eventually she was bought by Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives and fully restored to her former glory.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Adults – £6
Child/ Concs – £4

Website

http://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/m-shed/whats-on/john-king-trips/

Train rides

  • 6 February — 30 October 2016 *on now

Bristol Harbour Railway was built by the Great Western Railway in the 1870s and extended in the 1900s. After a century as a goods railway, it was handed over to the museum and has run as a heritage railway ever since. It runs between M Shed and the ss Great Britain on the dockside and from M Shed to Ashton Bridge along the New Cut, giving a choice of scenery on alternate routes.

Our two Bristol-built steam locomotives, Henbury and Portbury, served their working lives on the docks railway system at Avonmouth. The wagons are types once commonly seen on the docks at Avonmouth and here in the old City Docks.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Single £2 / Return £3 M Shed to ss Great Britain
Under 6s travel free

Website

http://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/m-shed/whats-on/train-rides/

M Shed
Wapping Road
Bristol
City of Bristol
BS1 4RN
England

Website

www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/m-shed/

E-mail

bristolmuseums@bristol.gov.uk

Telephone

0117 352 6600

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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