A new exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the opening of the M6 motorway opens in Preston next week.

Lancashire County Council’s M6:50 exhibition will be launched next Saturday (November 29) at a special event, almost 50 years to the day since Prime Minister Harold Macmillan officially opened the Preston By-pass, the first stretch of motorway to be built in Britain.

The exhibition, at the Museum of Lancashire, will be opened by chair of Lancashire County Council, County Coun Alan Whittaker and Highways Agency Area performance manager, Bob Baldwin.

Now, fifty years later this exhibition gives people the opportunity to discover how the motorway was built, listen to stories from people who remember the day the By-pass opened, what life was like before we had motorways and how the building of the motorway transformed Britain into a modern economy.

The exhibition is fun for all the family with the museum’s community gallery being transformed into a replica of Forton Services in 1965 with bird's eye views of the local area from the prominent Pennine Tower.

Visitors can get a sense of what life was like on the motorways back in the sixties and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee whilst the children have fun exploring the activity corner with costumes for dressing up, giant road maps and toy vehicles.

Anthea Purkis, M6:50 exhibition curator for Lancashire County Council, said: "The building of the Preston By-pass, the first motorway in Britain, played an important role in developing the motorway network in Britain today.

“It is a significant part of our local history and something for the people of Preston and Lancashire to be proud of.

“The local area and the rest of the country have seen big changes in the last 50 years as a result of the motorway system and the M6:50 exhibition will give local people the chance to learn all about it and celebrate our heritage."

The exhibition continues until April 11 and will then continue its run at Lancaster City Museum from May 2 to August 29.

The Museum of Lancashire is open everyday from 10.30am to 5pm excluding Thursdays and Sundays and costs £3 adults, £2 concessions. Accompanied children go free.

For information contact the Museum of Lancashire on 01772 534075 or visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/museums