You are here:
Grafters Learning Sessions

Grafters Learning Sessions

Explore the themes of our Grafters exhibition with your group

Grafters: Industrial society in image and word @ People's History Museum. Navvies Manchester Ship Canal by W E Birtles © Chethams Library

The museum’s latest changing exhibition Grafters is on show until Sunday 18 September 2016.  You can bring your group to visit the exhibition and combine it with one of our Grafters themed Learning sessions.

Curated by leading documentary photographer Ian Beesley, Grafters shows how the working classes went from objects in photos, to heroic representations of industry and finally to photographers themselves.  To accompany these scenes of industrial life, the museum has commissioned new poems from Ian McMillan, giving new voice to the unknown people captured in the images.

Free or Reduced Sessions for Greater Manchester Schools & Organisations

We are offering ten free Creative Writing sessions for schools from Greater Manchester who have not previously visited the museum before, for the duration of the Grafters exhibition.  If your group misses out on the offer of a free session, schools and other learning organisations can take advantage of our special offer for Creative Writing sessions, where they can be booked at a reduced rate for the duration of the exhibition.  If you would like to find out more about either offer please email

Suitable for Early Years & Key Stage 1

Suitable for Key Stages 2, 3, 4 & post 16

Creative Writing: Explore the exhibition with a professional writer to devise creative responses to the images.  Outcomes can be tailored to the groups’ needs, and could include poetry, spoken word or monologues.

City Centre Trail: Discover Manchester’s Industrial history with a qualified tour guide.6 February - 18 September 2016, Grafters - Industrial society in image and word @ People's History Museum. Land girl, 1940-1945. Courtesy of P G Hennell

Take part in one of our Living History workshops that use drama to bring to life the experience of workers and life in Britain over the last 200 years.

pARTicipate workshops: Work with an artist to produce original art work inspired by the exhibition, to represent working life in Britain.

  • Print Power: Create a screen-printed collage representing the life of workers.
  • The Art of Protest: Does the exhibition make you want to protest about workers’ rights?  If so, produce protest artwork to tell people why.
  • Build a Banner: Work together to create a banner representing the images and voices of the working people of Britain.
  • Drawing on Manchester: Draw the landscape of Industrial Manchester today.

Post 166 February - 18 September 2016, Grafters - Industrial society in image and word @ People's History Museum. Mill girls, 1960. Courtesy of John Bulmer

  • Guided Gallery Tours: Explore Grafters with a member of museum staff.  If your group would like a specialist tour with the exhibition curator please let us know when booking; availability of these specialist tours will be limited.
  • Introduction to Archives: Look at primary source archive material and images from our photo archive that are related to themes of the exhibition.


To accompany the Grafters exhibition, the Learning Team have created a range of Learning resources to be used to support your visit.

  • Many of our sessions are suitable, or can be adapted for, learners with special needs.  For further information or to book a session, please use the Learning enquiry form to contact the Learning Team or call 0161 838 9190
  • Check out the exciting programme of events to accompany the exhibition
  • Follow on #Grafters on twitter to keep up to date
  • Keep updated on PHM’s Learning Programme by signing up to our Learning e-newsletter or follow us on twitter @PHMLearn

Join us on

Sign up to our E-newsletter

Sent out approximately every two months.

Contact Us

Go to mobile site

The People's History Museum is very grateful to all its funders

Valium and its derivatives are the perfect sleeping pills which dont have a long duration, like diphenhydramine, after which a person is sleepy half a day.