The Lowry Gallery

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Kids in Museums volunteer Leonie Saywell, went back to Salford to see how the collection and the location has changed dramatically… 

Once upon a time I worked, not terribly happily, for a charity in Salford and visiting the Lowry Collection at the University was the only attraction in a landscape that still looked like one of the artist’s grittier scenes. The derelict quay was most definitely a no go zone, so I understood and loved Lowry back then.

Fast forward fifteen years to a slick setting in a regenerated quay with a husband and four year old twins in tow and would the chemistry still be there? The answer is a resounding yes! This small gallery delivers a whopping amount of family friendliness and we blissfully spent a whole morning there.

We began in the upstairs Family Centre. It’s the biggest family space I’ve seen in a gallery, easily fitting in different age zones, a mini cinema, a boat, a chill out zone and some great art books and materials.

Next was the gallery with its dramatic red walls and zig zag shape. I was thrilled to see children’s captions and, most brilliant of all, a nook for children to write and display their own captions and drawings. It didn’t take up much space and it certainly wasn’t high tech, but it worked brilliantly and is a concept other Museums could easily copy. The video of a contemporary football match alongside the football painting was a nice touch too.

Older children and teenagers would enjoy the Lowry film, guided walks and exploring the rest of the building.

The shop (the retro sweets are a nice touch) and café are downstairs, as is the cloakroom and buggy storage. The staff were fantastically friendly and there’s a family pack and a hide and seek trail available at the main entrance.

Open daily 11am – 5pm.

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