When people come on one of our Museum Store tours they often remark on the wide range of postal vehicles we have in our collection. The vehicles we care for range from bicycles and motorcycles to large delivery vans.
Today’s Royal Mail vehicles fleet is sourced for a small number of suppliers, but in the early days a great many manufacturers were used. It would be impossible for us to collect and maintain an example of every different type, but we do have photographic records and other material related to many of these vehicles in the Royal Mail Archive.
Recently we uploaded a small number of photographs showing some unusual and interesting postal vehicles to our Flickr site. Amongst these are the first motor vehicle used for mails in Scotland and a Motor Parcel Coach, both dating from circa 1908.
First motor vehicle used for mails in Scotland, c. 1908. (POST 118/5725)
Also of interest are postal vehicles in interesting settings, such as the General Post Office (GPO) trolley basket parked at the base of the Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway in Devon and a Postbus parked near spectacular cliffs on the coast of Barra in the Outer Hebrides.
Lynmouth cliff railway and General Post Office trolley basket, Devon. (POST 118/1300)
Finally, petrolheads may be interested in several images from the GPO repair shop in Harrow showing mechanics at work servicing vehicles.
For more on postal vehicles see our online exhibition Moving the Mail.
Posted in Archive, Collection, Postal History
Tagged Barra, Devon, General Post Office, GPO, Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway, motor car, motor parcel coach, motor vehicle, Outer Hebrides, Post Office, Post Office vehicles, postal vehicles, postbus, Royal Mail, Scotland, vehicles
On Wednesday three members of our Curatorial team will be taking over our Twitter account as part of Ask A Curator Day.
Our curators manage our existing collections and actively acquire new objects to add more detail to the story of the British postal service. The objects within our collection include letter boxes, stamps, postal vehicles, paintings, hand stamps, archive documents and much more.
The three curators tweeting will be:
11am-1pm – Sarah Jenkins, who works with our collections including the recently digitised lantern slides.
1-3pm – Chris Taft, our Senior Curator. He has recently been working on our Mail Rail project to preserve rolling stock from this fascinating underground railway.
3-5pm – Emma Harper, who is organising the curatorial aspects of our move to a new home at Calthorpe House, and has previously worked with the Wilkinson Collection of pillar box memorabilia.
Chris Taft poses with Mail Rail rolling stock recovered from the underground tunnels at Mount Pleasant Sorting Office in London.
If you have any questions for our curators tweet them on @postalheritage this Wednesday. Don’t forget to include the hashtag #AskACurator.
Posted in Collection
Tagged #AskACurator, archives, Ask A Curator, Ask A Curator Day, Calthorpe House, Collection, collections, curator, handstamps, lantern slides, letter boxes, Mail Rail, museum, paintings, pillar box, postal vehicles, preservation, railways, rolling stock, stamps, trains, Twitter, underground railway, Wilkinson Collection