On Monday 10 March Islington Borough Council approved the British Postal Museum & Archive’s planning application to develop a stretch of the old Post Office Underground Railway – Mail Rail – into a unique subterranean ride.
The decision means that visitors to the newly created
Museum, due to open in central London in 2016, will be given the opportunity to explore
the hidden world of this railway under through an engaging exhibition and
interactive ride. In total, visitors will be taken through 1km of the original
tunnels, following the same route that much of the nation’s mail took for
nearly 80 years from 1927-2003. Mount
The Mail Rail ride is part of a much larger project that the BPMA is undertaking to reveal the extraordinary stories of British social, communications and design history through the universally iconic postal service. By opening up almost 400 years of records and objects from the reign of King Charles I to the present day, The Postal Museum will reveal unusual and exciting episodes from British history. It will showcase curious items including a first edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses, original evidence from the Great Train Robbery trial, a Victoria Cross and flintlock pistols used to defend Mail Coaches in the 19th Century.
Adrian Steel, Director of the BPMA commented, “It is fantastic that Islington Borough Council has given us the green light to open up these unique tunnels to the public and reveal the captivating story of Mail Rail. Making this exciting project a reality still requires a further £0.5m, but this is a major boost to our plans and for Islington’s,
Camden’s and ’s heritage offer.
We hope to launch a public appeal later this year, both in the local community
and further afield, and look forward to welcoming our first visitors in 2016.” London
The BPMA is currently waiting on the outcome of an application for £4.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund. A decision is expected in May this year.