Close to Farringdon station, the Postal Museum is a place you can easily miss as few people are passionate by the story of the mail through the centuries. Nevertheless, it would be a pity not to attend one of the most original attraction currently in London. Opened last July, the London Post office offers you to discover the secret underground network used for over 75 years (1920-2003) to deliver the mails in the capital.
I booked a ticket for a 20 minute ride and I went up in a – very – small train car, 21 meters underground.
If you are claustrophobic, it might not be for you, otherwise you will have a lot of fun! Created in 1920 to avoid the traffic jam in London, the Mail Rail connected West London to Whitechapel. The automatic trains (no driver inside) were in charge to deliver 4 millions of mails per day and every stop was not supposed to last more than 1 minute. You can imagine how it was busy down there! Through the ride, a guide shared with us the story of the rail and 2 stops occurred to project a short movie to trace back the major events of the company and a typical day of the workers’ life.
It was closed in 2003 since the traffic has surprisingly improved. It also became too expensive to harness. It’s both very funny and pedagogical to discover this underground life.
It’s even better to be there 50 minutes before your ride, to visit the Postal Museum. It’s included in the ticket price and it’s located just in front of this building. From the beginning of the Post, only dedicated to few rich people and very unsafe for the Post workers, to the modern version we now know, it’s interesting to follow the main evolutions.
The creation of the stamp, the mail under the WWI (the Post was in these times the first employer of the country), the Air Post,…will not have any secrets for you. It’s very well organized and not boring at all. The mix between amusing stories, chronological facts and emotional testimonials made us have a good time and it was the perfect introduction before the ride!
Everyday from 10AM to 5PM (booked in advance!), £14.50 (without donation)
posted by Marine