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
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Man writing at desk (POST 118/5388)
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We often receive questions about the history of the postal service via our Facebook page or Twitter. Yesterday @jamespurdon asked “anybody know when house numbering begins in UK?” We asked Archives Assistant Penny to find out, and as so often with these questions the answer is a bit complicated.
A postman delivers mail to cottages in North Street in Brighstone, Isle of Wight, 1937.
The first recorded instance of a street being numbered is Prescot Street in Goodmans Fields in 1708. By the end of the century, the numbering of houses had become well established, and seems to have been done on the consecutive rather than the odd and even principle which we have now become familiar.
None of this was regulated and numbering systems varied even in the same street. For example about 1780, Craven Street in the Strand had three sets of numbers. There were irregularities everywhere, and the naming of streets and parts of streets was left to the idiosyncrasy or whim of the owner.
Regulation did not take place until 1855 with the passing of the Metropolitan Management Act. For the first time the power to control and regulate the naming and numbering of streets and houses was provided for and given to the new Board of Works. Under pressure from the Post Office the Board started work in 1857 on the simplification of street names and numbering by working through a hit list of the most confusing streets given to the Board by the Post Office.
Do you have a question for us? Don’t forget to join us on Twitter on 24 August when you can tweet our Director.
What does the privatisation of Royal Mail mean for the Royal Mail Archive?
How do I get a job in Museums and Archives?
What’s the best thing in the BPMA collection?
All these questions and many more could be answered on Wednesday 24 August when our Director Dr Adrian Steel takes over the BPMA Twitter account (@postalheritage). Join the conversation from 2.30pm and ask Adrian anything you like.
Adrian Steel is a Political Historian and Archivist with a PhD in 1920s London Politics. He has been employed at the BPMA in a number of roles since 2003, notably as New Centre Project Manager, and most recently as Director.
If you don’t use Twitter you can also post questions for Adrian on the BPMA Facebook page or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, join us on Twitter on 24 August to see the best questions answered – prizes may be awarded too!
Today we joined the growing number of philatelists, stamp collectors and postal historians on Twitter. You can find us at http://www.twitter.com/postalheritage. We’ll be tweeting every weekday on what we’re up to here at The British Postal Museum & Archive.
London 2010: Festival of Stamps will no doubt give us plenty to tweet about in upcoming months, and we’ll be using the hash tag #FestivalOfStamps when we discuss it.
The most popular stamp topic on Twitter at the present time seems to be Royal Mail’s Classic Album Covers stamps, with many people very keen to get their hands on some. Come and join the conversation.