Britains’s newest heritage attraction, The Postal Museum, has opened its doors to the public in central London, featuring a kilometre-long underground train ride attraction that brings guests on a journey through abandoned mail tunnels.
The museum celebrates some of the lesser known history behind Britain’s postal network, leading visitors through five centuries of curiosities in an effort to provide a different view on significant past world events. The opening comes after a year and a half of planning to convert a disused Clerkenwell printing factory into the museum site, while work was done to bring the disused mail tunnels back to life for the first time in 100 years.
While last Friday marked the opening of the museum, the Mail Rail ride will not open to the public until September. It will see visitors descending into the former engineering depot at the old post office railway, before boarding a miniature train that transports them through stalactite-filled chambers of subterranean London, previously hidden from public view.
Each zone in the museum contains interactive exhibitions designed to bring stories to life, such as a growling lioness that tells the tale of an escaped circus lioness that once attacked a mail coach, and an interactive game where visitors take on the role of a mail coach guard.
Visitors are also able to decipher Morse code at a writing bureau from the 1930s, as well as writing a message before watching it disappear through a system of pneumatic tubes to be received by a stranger at the other side of the museum. Larger items on display include a 1941 motorbike used by postmen, a Bristol to London Mail Coach from the 1800s and a 1980s Dodge Spacevan post bus.
To mark its opening, The Postal Museum is holding a family extravaganza throughout the summer months, with daily events such as face painting, craft workshops and storytelling. More information on visiting is available at the official website, with advanced tickets also on sale.