The London Postal Museum | Plus, A Secret Railway
The London Postal Museum.
We know, because we took a tour before it before it opened to the public. Truly, it was a red letter day.
The whole experience is divided up into two main areas: the museum itself, and the Mail Rail. And our own article starts with,
THE MAIL RAIL
A secret subterranean world that has literally been under the radar for a century, this railway network used to work for up to 22 hours a day to deliver post around the capital. And now, for the first time ever, it’s taking passengers from the public. The space itself has been kept as close to its original state as possible – the walls are deliberately unpainted, the floors unwashed. Throw a couple of low-hung lightbulbs in there, and you’ve got yourself a hipster restaurant. And it all gives you the impression that you’re very much in the history of the place. And you get to ride one of the original trains, too.
Your trusty steed
They’re small (if you’re over 6ft, prepare to yearn for the plush expansiveness of a plane seat), but the dinkiness almost gives a sense of added value – we’ve all been on the tube, after all.
The full tour lasts for around 10 minutes, during which time you’ll hear an audio reel from one of the engineers who worked on the rail, as well as pulling into a couple of stations complete with cinema-like projections on the walls.
After you return, there’s a Mail Rail gallery in a adjacent tunnel, complete with games, interactive exhibits, and the like.
Pictured: an interactive exhibit
Then of course, let’s not forget,
Filled with postal memorabilia, the exhibition space takes a chronological stroll through the history of Her Majesty’s not-so-secret service.
There are relics including postal carriages, the world’s first post box, and the only sheet of Penny Black stamps in existence.
Then there are more modern items, including the original plaster cast of Elizabeth II’s profile, which – according to their estimates – has been reproduced 22 billion times, making it the most reproduced piece of art in history.
That’s quite a lot of prince.
NOTE: The London Postal Museum is now open – you can find out more on their website HERE.
The London Postal Museum | Phoenix Place, WC1X 0DA
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