Open for business

    16 May to 7 September 2014 in our gallery

    A major touring photographic exhibition which reveals the untold story of British manufacturing and industry through the lens of some of the world's greatest photographers.

    Exhibition and museum entry is free.


    Open for Business is the story of contemporary British manufacturing and industry told through the lens of 9 Magnum photographers.

    Displayed in our purpose-built gallery, Magnum photographer Mark Power's stunning shots of Bombardier in Derby and Holdworth Fabrics in Huddersfield demonstrate the UK's transport industry is still thriving, showing the manufacture of carriages and their interiors in fascinating detail. This year marks 175 years of trains being built at the Derby works.

    Open for Business has been commissioned and produced by Multistory in collaboration with Magnum Photos and has been awarded partial funding from the Arts Council of England's Strategic Touring Programme. An exhibition of works by all the photographers involved in the Open for Business project is currently at the National Media Museum in Bradford and will be at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester from 23 May - 3 Aug 2014.

    For more information about the project, visit the Open for Business website. See behind the scenes images of the photographers' shoots on the Open for Business Tumblr.

    Historic pictures of Derby works selected from our archive.

    Locomotives in the paint shop at the Midland Railway's Derby Locomotive Works, 13 March 1914. The shop was completed in the 1870s and had space for between 30 and 40 locomotives. At its peak, 600 to 700 locomotives a year were painted in the shop. Midland Railway official photograph.

    Workers from the Derby Works posed on the 0-6-0 locomotive No 321, designed by Matthew Kirtley and completed in June 1859.

    Female workers cleaning wheels in N. 16 shop of Derby works. 10th November 1942.

    Derby Carriage and Wagon Works, Derbyshire, late 1890s. Railway workers are removing bogies from a lifted carriage.

    E shop, the carriage repair shop at the London, Midland & Scottish Railway's Carriage & Wagon Works, Derby, 12th June 1936.

    Baldwin locomotives under construction at Derby works, about 1898. In the winter of 1898 to 1899, the Midland Railway urgently needed new goods locomotives, but engineering strikes and long delivery times meant they could not obtain locomotives in Britain. These Baldwin's were sent from Philadelphia in pieces, and were assembled at Derby works.

    Midland Railway, locomotive drawing office. Derby Works. 21st October 1919.

    Carriage building at British Rail's Derby Carriage & Wagon Works, 13th January 1967.

    The journal turning bay in H shop, the wheel shop at the London, Midland & Scottish Railway’s Carriage & Wagon Works, Derby, 12th June 1936.

    Fitting a window frame in a carriage at British Rail's Derby Carriage & Wagon Works, 13th January 1967

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    Previous exhibitions

    Background: Midland Railway, locomotive drawing office - Derby Works