Set to open in 2017, the new museum in Clerkenwell, London will concentrate on stories from five centuries of Britain’s social and communications history through one of its best known services.
The Postal Museum will be the home of Mail Rail – a new and unique experience that will transport visitors back in time through the disused miniature tunnels of the world’s first driverless, electric railway.
Through the use of an immersive ride and interactive displays, the attraction will allow visitors to explore how the innovation of the postal service allowed to keep us all in touch.
Divided into five different interactive sections the Postal Museum leads those visiting into five centuries of treasures and artefacts that provide a different view point on many famous historical periods and events.
At the heart of the attraction is how the postal service changed the way in which people were able to communicate with each other and paved the way for the digital communication that we are familiar with today.
In the first zone titled ‘Royal Mail’, the section provides the narrative for the earliest days of the service. Meanwhile in the second zone, ‘Mail for Everyone’ shows the growth of post offices and how it made it easier for everyone to afford to communicate with each other at long distances. Zone 3 is ‘Post Office in Conflict’ reveals surprising stories of people saving mail from bombed post offices and mail boxes. While zone 4 ‘Designs on Delivery’ looks at the links with design and art and zone five ‘Communication and Change’ rounds the attraction up looking at how the postal service has developed and changed.
Adrian Steel, Director of The Postal Museum, comments: “We’ve existed as The British Postal Museum & Archive since 2004, with a vision to bring our curious and extraordinary stories to a mass audience. Our new site, new name and the opening up of Mail Rail marks a new chapter in our history.”
At a total cost of £26 million, raised through fundraising, the Museum is expecting 186,000 visitors and 10,000 school visits in its first full year alone.The Postal Museum has been generously supported by many organisations and individuals, including Royal Mail, Post Office and Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Postal Museum is expected to be open to the public in early 2017.