The Postal Museum

The Postal Museum Telling the story of postal communication and its impact on global society.
(580)

Is researching your family tree on your list of new year resolutions?If so, did you know that you can access our reading...
04/01/2024

Is researching your family tree on your list of new year resolutions?

If so, did you know that you can access our reading room and archive discovery room at The Postal Museum for free? Royal Mail and GPO staff records are some of the most comprehensive in the country, so if you know someone from your ancestral history who was employed, chances are we might be able to shed a bit more light into their working life.

Find out how our archive team can help your research in person and online by clicking the link below.

👉 https://bit.ly/476w378

Today we're welcoming our first visitors of 2024. Our exhibition Dressed to Deliver will be open for the next 9 months, ...
03/01/2024

Today we're welcoming our first visitors of 2024.

Our exhibition Dressed to Deliver will be open for the next 9 months, which uncovers the history of postal uniforms over the course of 200 years. If you've not been to check it out for yourself, head to the link below to find out more.

👉 https://bit.ly/3Q1Jgrp

We can only aspire to be starting New Year's Day with the same bright eyed exuberance as this postman.
01/01/2024

We can only aspire to be starting New Year's Day with the same bright eyed exuberance as this postman.

To mark the end of 2023 and the final Postbox Saturday of the year, we wanted to share a selection of our favourite find...
30/12/2023

To mark the end of 2023 and the final Postbox Saturday of the year, we wanted to share a selection of our favourite finds from the last 12 months.

Here's to more postbox spotting in 2024! 📮

Is a tour of the Mail Rail tunnels on your 2024 bucket list? Our Tuesday Tunnel Walks return from 16th January and advan...
28/12/2023

Is a tour of the Mail Rail tunnels on your 2024 bucket list? Our Tuesday Tunnel Walks return from 16th January and advance tickets are on sale now.

Explore nearly a century of hidden London history in this unique, alternative experience.

👉 https://bit.ly/46fWNCe

If you're thinking about paying us a visit, a reminder that we'll be open every day throughout the post-Christmas period...
26/12/2023

If you're thinking about paying us a visit, a reminder that we'll be open every day throughout the post-Christmas period from 27th to 31st December and excluding New Years Day.

For booking information follow the link below.

👉 https://bit.ly/3TjxkV7

However, or wherever you're spending the day, we want to wish all our followers a very Merry Christmas! We'll see you ag...
25/12/2023

However, or wherever you're spending the day, we want to wish all our followers a very Merry Christmas! We'll see you again on 27th December when we'll be open again after the festive break.

🎨 1985. POST 110/0198.

If you think your spare room or storage spaces are running out of room ahead of Christmas Day, then spare a thought for ...
22/12/2023

If you think your spare room or storage spaces are running out of room ahead of Christmas Day, then spare a thought for what it must have been like sorting parcels back in the day.

This photograph taken in 1962 at the Mount Pleasant sorting office shows a mountain of parcels to get through.

POST 118/17626

This remarkable Christmas card was sent in 1915 by a resourceful soldier during WW1. As you can see, he had to use a str...
21/12/2023

This remarkable Christmas card was sent in 1915 by a resourceful soldier during WW1. As you can see, he had to use a strip of material from his trousers to write his message due to the lack of writing supplies. The message reads

'On Active Service - No Xmas cards obtainable. Just a strip of khaki to wish you topping luck and all the other things they wish on cards by Raphael Tuck. Drink our health on Xmas day, when we're dodging Mausers - And keep this as a souvenir of me and tattered trousers! P.S.P.'

On the reverse is written 'Cheerhio!/ Ever yours, P. Sutton Page'

'Dear Father Christmas. Please bring me lots of toys. Tank you (David). Age 4. In our collection we have many letters se...
20/12/2023

'Dear Father Christmas. Please bring me lots of toys. Tank you (David). Age 4.

In our collection we have many letters sent to Father Christmas from children throughout the decades. This example from David, aged 4, is one of our most 'to the point' examples. But at least he has his priorities straight. This letter was sent in the mid 1960's, which was the time that children first started writing to Father Christmas in the UK.

This fabulous Air Mail poster from 1960 was part of the General Post Office's Post Early campaign. Find out more about t...
19/12/2023

This fabulous Air Mail poster from 1960 was part of the General Post Office's Post Early campaign. Find out more about the GPO's PR campaign which was too successful below.

👉 https://bit.ly/33xUXyk

POST 110/3949

Did you know that December marks the anniversary of the Post Office Railway (AKA Mail Rail)? After being delayed for sev...
18/12/2023

Did you know that December marks the anniversary of the Post Office Railway (AKA Mail Rail)? After being delayed for several years, the railway finally opened on 5 December 1927 between Mount Pleasant and Paddington. On 19 December the line between Mount Pleasant and Liverpool Street Station opened, before the final part of the jigsaw was added when the line to the Eastern District Office in Whitechapel was completed.

This map from 1937 shows how the railway stretched through London via a network of hidden underground tunnels. Whilst the second photograph shows what our Mail Rail depot at Mount Pleasant looked like in 1927.

It's a few days before Christmas but we thought we'd share a present early for today's Postbox Saturday. A magnificent V...
16/12/2023

It's a few days before Christmas but we thought we'd share a present early for today's Postbox Saturday. A magnificent Victorian penfold pillar box found in Bath a couple of months ago by one of our team.

Many of us will soon receive Christmas cards delivered by our local posties, with many likely to feature images of snowy...
15/12/2023

Many of us will soon receive Christmas cards delivered by our local posties, with many likely to feature images of snowy pillar boxes or maybe even of a robin delivering the mail in a snowy scene.

But how and why did they become popular on Christmas Cards? And how did Posties become associated with Robins? For the answers to these questions, senior curator Corrinne journeys all the way back to the earliest Christmas cards.

👉 https://bit.ly/4ajvedN

Is this the worlds best travelled piece of paper? This remarkable item from our archives shows a postcard that has been ...
13/12/2023

Is this the worlds best travelled piece of paper? This remarkable item from our archives shows a postcard that has been posted back and forth numerous times. It was sent between Doncaster and Brazil, and even once to France, over the course of eight years, from 1910 and 1917.

As you can see from the second image, small pieces of paper have been stuck on the card, with some words and messages still readable. The colourful array of stamps makes this a true time capsule of the early 20th century.

Did you know that today is National Postal Workers Day?Launched in 2011 by the Communication Workers Union, it's a day t...
11/12/2023

Did you know that today is National Postal Workers Day?

Launched in 2011 by the Communication Workers Union, it's a day to celebrate the hard work and dedication of hundreds of thousands of women and men who collect, sort, and deliver letters, parcels, and packets.

So, on National Postal Workers Day, please look out for your local postman or postwoman, give them a friendly wave, a cheerful message and show them today that you appreciate them and the fantastic work they do.

Fancy something spicy?There's something rather appropriate about spotting this George VI postbox next to a sign advertis...
09/12/2023

Fancy something spicy?

There's something rather appropriate about spotting this George VI postbox next to a sign advertising Bloody Marys given their matching colours.

📸 Oxford

Please be aware that tomorrow, Saturday 9th December, we will be closed all day for a private event. We will welcome vis...
08/12/2023

Please be aware that tomorrow, Saturday 9th December, we will be closed all day for a private event. We will welcome visitors back to the museum on Sunday.

Are you interested in learning how postal uniforms have changed over time?If you can't visit our new exhibition 'Dressed...
07/12/2023

Are you interested in learning how postal uniforms have changed over time?

If you can't visit our new exhibition 'Dressed to Deliver', you can read our latest curatorial blog below.

👉 https://bit.ly/3Q1G0My

On this day in 1934, German scientist Gerhard Zucker conducted his final Rocket Mail trial as he attempted to jet propel...
05/12/2023

On this day in 1934, German scientist Gerhard Zucker conducted his final Rocket Mail trial as he attempted to jet propel mail from Lymington on the Hampshire coast to the Isle of Wight.

Zucker's previous experiments in the Outer Hebrides had been explosive, and not in a good way. So this test had to go well. Unfortunately for the hapless Gerhard, the rocket didn't clear the mainland and landed in marshes under a mile away from the launch site.

If you want to learn more about how close Zucker was to succeeding in his ambitious quest, click the link below.

👉 https://bit.ly/3GeznSq

This diagram shows the operation of a Sovex parcel sorting machine believed to be dated from 1957. It provides a wonderf...
04/12/2023

This diagram shows the operation of a Sovex parcel sorting machine believed to be dated from 1957. It provides a wonderful snapshot of what the busy sorting rooms of the day would have looked like and how they were organised.

With the festive season now upon us, we thought we'd share a selection of our favourite archive Post Early festive poste...
02/12/2023

With the festive season now upon us, we thought we'd share a selection of our favourite archive Post Early festive posters that feature postboxes. It is Postbox Saturday after all.

Which is your favourite?

The festive season is officially upon us. From family activities to our annual display of archive letters to Father Chri...
01/12/2023

The festive season is officially upon us. From family activities to our annual display of archive letters to Father Christmas, click below to find out what's taking place at The Postal Museum this December. 🎄

👉 https://bit.ly/3Ror77R

As it's St Andrews Day, we want to celebrate a true Scottish hero, Jean Cameron. It was on her rural postal routes acros...
30/11/2023

As it's St Andrews Day, we want to celebrate a true Scottish hero, Jean Cameron. It was on her rural postal routes across the Cairngorms in the 1940s that Jean discovered the formal skirts given to all postwomen were less than convenient for her daily hikes across the glens.

Jean went on to be a pioneer and eventually won the right for not just herself, but for all postwomen to wear trousers at work. By November 1943, 14,000 pairs of 'Camerons' had been issued. You can learn the full story of Jean Cameron in our new exhibition Dressed to Deliver, which unravels the history of postal uniforms and their impact on employees and public alike.

👉 https://bit.ly/3t0mKYf

Any guesses as to which city is featured in the background of this archive photograph taken in 1937? Hint: It was the fi...
29/11/2023

Any guesses as to which city is featured in the background of this archive photograph taken in 1937?

Hint: It was the first city to get postcodes.

Our December Tunnel Walks are selling out fast. At this time of year, our tours have a unique festive twist, allowing yo...
28/11/2023

Our December Tunnel Walks are selling out fast. At this time of year, our tours have a unique festive twist, allowing you to see festive murals not usually seen on a standard tour.

With our only remaining tickets on sale for the evening of 5th December, act fast to secure your spot, or give as an early Christmas present to someone you love.

👉 https://bit.ly/46fWNCe

Today we're thinking about this GPO Greetings Telegram backing paper. It was designed by Kerry Lee in 1938, with depicti...
27/11/2023

Today we're thinking about this GPO Greetings Telegram backing paper. It was designed by Kerry Lee in 1938, with depictions of telegraph messenger boys shown whizzing about.

Postbox Saturday is here to brighten up your morning. This beauty was photographed on a bright, blue autumnal day in Hom...
25/11/2023

Postbox Saturday is here to brighten up your morning. This beauty was photographed on a bright, blue autumnal day in Homerton, East London.

On this day in 1852, the first British postboxes were installed on Jersey in the Channel Islands. These postboxes were p...
23/11/2023

On this day in 1852, the first British postboxes were installed on Jersey in the Channel Islands. These postboxes were part of a trial and more boxes arrived in neighbouring Guernsey the following year. By the end of 1853, the iconic postboxes began to be rolled out on the mainland.

You may have noticed a small difference with the postboxes of today - the colour! The public found the green boxes too difficult to find. So in 1874, a decade long process of 'de-greening' took place.

None of the original Jersey postboxes survive today, but we have two original Guernsey boxes in our collection, including our main gallery. There's even more to learn on the history of postboxes on our website, which you can access using the link below.

👉 https://bit.ly/3iyzKdX

Don't forget that our Royal Mail Open Day returns this weekend.If you're a postie past or present, it's not too late to ...
22/11/2023

Don't forget that our Royal Mail Open Day returns this weekend.

If you're a postie past or present, it's not too late to join us on Sunday. Explore our new exhibition Dressed to Deliver, chat with our curatorial and collections team and ride the iconic Mail Rail all for just £1 per person. What's more you can bring your friends and family along too.

Advanced booking is recommended. Find out more by heading to the link below.

👉 https://bit.ly/3R7xrRX

Some sage advice to start your week.
20/11/2023

Some sage advice to start your week.

Are you a home educating parent?Then why not join us for our festive Home Ed Day, inspired by The Jolly Christmas Postma...
19/11/2023

Are you a home educating parent?

Then why not join us for our festive Home Ed Day, inspired by The Jolly Christmas Postman on 13 December?

To find out more, head to the link below.

👉 https://bit.ly/3EKNNdk

Did someone say Postbox Cat-urday?This is the only known photograph of perhaps the most iconic Post Office cat of all ti...
18/11/2023

Did someone say Postbox Cat-urday?

This is the only known photograph of perhaps the most iconic Post Office cat of all time... The one, the only, Tibs. This famous feline was born in November 1950 and worked at the Post Office HQ until his death in November 1964.

Perhaps it was his formidable size (22lbs!) that led to him keeping HQ rodent free throughout his employment, for which he earned 2 and a half shillings a week.

If you want to learn more about the wonderful world of post office cats head to the link below.

👉 https://bit.ly/2Df12VA

Them: You only need to pack light for this trip.Me:
17/11/2023

Them: You only need to pack light for this trip.

Me:

Are these the nicest, yet most passive aggressive posters you've seen?On display in our new exhibition 'Dressed to Deliv...
15/11/2023

Are these the nicest, yet most passive aggressive posters you've seen?

On display in our new exhibition 'Dressed to Deliver', these cool designs were part of an internal messaging campaign to encourage Royal Mail employees to dress appropriately when on the job. Created circa 1980.

This blank postcard may not look like much, but for British Prisoners of War (POWs) captured in Japan and Japanese Terri...
12/11/2023

This blank postcard may not look like much, but for British Prisoners of War (POWs) captured in Japan and Japanese Territories in the Second World War, it was a lifeline.

In 1929 the right for all POWs to be able to correspond with their families was written into the Geneva Conventions. But the diary of captured postman Frederick Smith (pictured in third image) reveals this wasn't always the reality in WW2.

As more British soldiers became prisoners of war in the Far East, the Post Office wanted to facilitate correspondence with family. To help families of POWs in Japan and Japanese Territories write to their loved ones, the Post Office issued these special lightweight Air Mail postcards that helped maximize space on aircraft. As you can see, the airmail card instructed the sender to write in block capitals and for the message to be no longer than 25 words. By sticking to these rules, there was a greater chance of the card passing the Japanese censor and reaching the prisoner.

Find out more about postman Frederick Smith on our blog.

👉 https://bit.ly/3ue2pie

On Remembrance Day, we have a unique Postbox Saturday to share. Taken in 1915, this photograph from our archives shows a...
11/11/2023

On Remembrance Day, we have a unique Postbox Saturday to share. Taken in 1915, this photograph from our archives shows an improvised postbox built on the Western Front, precise location unknown.

Ensuring that mail was able to arrive safely and securely was imperative to the war effort, as it had a significant impact on the morale of those on the frontline, with letters and parcels being the only source of contact. By 1917, over 19,000 mailbags were crossing the channel every day.

In the lead up to Remembrance Weekend, did you know that during WW1, the Mail Rail tunnels were used to protect some of ...
08/11/2023

In the lead up to Remembrance Weekend, did you know that during WW1, the Mail Rail tunnels were used to protect some of London's most important artworks and artefacts? Collections from the likes of Tate, National Portrait Gallery and the British Museum were all stored in the unfinished network safe below London.

It's not too late to get involved with our Royal Mail Staff Open Day.If you're a Royal Mail employee past or present who...
07/11/2023

It's not too late to get involved with our Royal Mail Staff Open Day.
If you're a Royal Mail employee past or present who's not been before, this is your opportunity to visit the museum and Mail for just £1. What's more, you can bring your family and friends along for the same price.

Plus, for anyone who has been before, this is your first chance to see our new exhibition Dressed to Deliver, that gets hands on with the history of postal uniforms.

Fancy coming along? Then head to the link below to find out more.

👉 https://bit.ly/3fx0qia

Address

15-20 Phoenix Place
London
WC1X0DA

Opening Hours

Wednesday 10am - 5pm
Thursday 10am - 5pm
Friday 10am - 5pm
Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 10am - 5pm

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when The Postal Museum posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to The Postal Museum:

Videos

Share

Category

*TEMPORARILY CLOSED*

The Postal Museum in London reveals Britain's remarkable social and communications history through the eyes of an iconic service. Take a ride on Mail Rail and experience 15 minutes of immersive underground exploration on our miniature trains, now adapted for enhanced safety.

Nearby museums


Other Museums in London

Show All