Historian, Dr The Reverend Richard hills, from Mottram, who founded Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list.
He was recognised for his services to industrial heritage, setting up the museum and salvaging many of the exhibits still on display today.
Dr Hills, now 78, was working as a research assistant at The University of Manchester when he first put the wheels in motion to open a science museum.
It started life in 1968 with artefacts including drawings and photographs from Beyer, Peacock - an engineering company making locomotives and light machines which was based in Gorton until 1966.
Dr Hills also rescued several steam engines from as far afield as South Africa which can be seen in the museum’s Power Hall.,He campaigned to keep MOSI open when government cuts threatened its closure in 2013, forty thousand people signed a Manchester Evening News petition to save it, forcing ministers to do a U-turn and last month it was awarded a £3m grant to fund a new exhibition space.
Dr Hills was last year awarded a ‘medal of honour’ for his work from The University of Manchester and said “Gradually we managed to build up the funds to set up an educational museum to explain the history of our present civilisation - the role that technology has played and the role of some of these industries to the development of Manchester".
He has recently started to write his memoirs about the museum.