Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Bodyworlds 4 at Manchester

I went to Manchester recently to see "Bodyworlds 4".

Some years ago, I went with my son Kevin to see an earlier version of this extraordinary exhibition of the work of Gunther von Hagens. At that time it was housed in a gallery in Brick Lane, London - very much Jack the Ripper territory.

Gunther von Hagens uses actual dead bodies to show a variety of situations, both scientific and artistic. The people whose bodies are used have of course given their permission some years before.

He uses a special process called plastination, which protects the bodies from deterioration and aids in highlighting particular aspects.

I had been invited by the exhibition`s management. They had asked a number of group travel organisers to attend, and if they were all as impressed as I was it should lead to a good deal of interest.

"Bodyworlds 4" is housed temporarily at the Museum of Science and Industry in the historic Castlefields area of Manchester. The buildings were associated with the historic Liverpool to Manchester Railway.

It was nice to able to talk to representatives of clubs and societies. Coming from Leicester, I had travelled the furthest distance for the occasion by a long chalk. The others had mostly come from Manchester and Lancashire, with some from Liverpool.

I walked around the exhibition with the Manchester Blue Badge Guide Alan Holmes, who was kind enough afterwards to show me around the Castlefields area, with particular reference to industrial history and to the Roman legacy of Manchester.

Before and after, I had a look round the City Centre, including Manchester Cathedral and the splendidly airy Arndale Centre. It was a good day.