Category Archives: Twitter

#MuseumWeek at the BPMA

Next week (23 – 29 March) we will be participating in #MuseumWeek on Twitter with over 1400 other museums and heritage sites from around the world. We have been working hard gathering stories, pictures and more to share with you! Here’s a sneak peak at what you can expect:


Monday – #secretsMW

We will be revealing objects that will appear in The Postal Museum and Mail Rail. Tune in to see if you can guess the object! You will also find out what goes on behind the scenes in our museum store, conservation studio and archive through pictures and stories from our staff.

Can you guess what this iconic object is?

Can you guess what this iconic object is?

Tuesday – #souvenirsMW

We will be sharing gifts from our shop, and of course pictures of staff with their favourite mug. We would love to see your BPMA souvenirs in use!

Wednesday – #architectureMR

Find out more about the history behind the building that will become The Postal Museum: Calthorpe House. We will also be sharing images and plans for post offices and sorting offices around the UK, including a pub or two. Share pictures of your local post office!

An early photo of Calthorpe House - the home of The Postal Museum

An early photo of Calthorpe House – the home of The Postal Museum

Thursday – #inspirationMW

Do you have a favourite letter? What is the most unusual or surprising thing you have received in the post? We want to hear your stories – they could end up in The Postal Museum!

Friday – #familyMW

We have been busy putting together a new family-friendly exhibition and activities at Islington Museum and will be live tweeting from venue.

Our new travelling exhibition debuting at Islington Museum!

Our new travelling exhibition debuting at Islington Museum!

Saturday – #favMW

It was no easy task, but our staff have come up with their favourite objects and stories from the collections. From a letter that took nearly 80 years to reach its destination to a prosthetic arm for sorting. Do you have a favourite story or object from a visit with us? We’d love to see it!

Sunday – #poseMW

We are suckers for a good #pillarboxselfie! We will be sharing staff selfies, send us yours using #pillarboxselfie.

Staff #pillarboxselfie with a Penfold on Ladbroke Grove. Share yours with us next week!

Staff #pillarboxselfie with a Penfold on Ladbroke Grove. Share yours with us next week!

Join us on Twitter next week for #museumweek along with museums and heritage sites from around the world!

#ExploreArchive: What to expect next week

This year we’re once again taking part in the Explore Your Archive campaign. From 10-15 November organisations across the UK are taking part in the campaign to celebrate the UK’s archives and heritage. Penny McMahon, Archives and Records Assistant, tells us a little about what you can expect.


All of the BPMA’s Explore Your Archive activity will take place via social media, so look out for #explorearchives on our Twitter and Facebook pages, and right here on our blog. Every member of the archive team has selected one of their favourite records from the collection. This includes original artwork, snippets about the Post Office using animals in its workforce and a first-hand account of the Great Train Robbery.

Here are some of the highlights:

On Monday 10 November, Director Adrian Steel will be taking over Twitter sharing what goes on behind the scenes in our archive and here at the BPMA.

On Thursday 13 November, Head of Cataloguing Gavin McGuffie will also be giving the public an opportunity to choose a box in the archive to investigate, in our ‘pick a shelf any shelf segment’. We will put up a list of shelf numbers alongside a photograph of the shelf and you can choose which box he’ll look at.

Lastly we have been hard at work in the kitchen recreating Trench Cake. Trench cake was devised as a way of sending a cake to loved ones on the Front that would travel and keep well, without using up too many precious rationed goods. I first learned of Trench Cake when a member of the Great British Bake Off production team asked us how much it would cost and how a cake would be packaged during the First World War.  We have baked several examples of the cakes, brought one in for staff at the BPMA, sent one to Scotland and one to France. Fingers crossed they arrive in one piece!  Look out for a follow up blog to see how we got on.

Do you want to have a go at trench cake? We’d love to see your attempts – tweet us your pictures and tell us how it tastes!

– Penny McMahon, Archives and Records Assistant

#AskaCurator: Day in the life of a BPMA Curator

This Wednesday Curator Joanna Espin will be available to answer any questions you might have on Twitter for #AskACurator day! In today’s blog, she gives us an idea about what it means to be a BPMA Curator.

The main purpose of my job is to prepare the museum collection to move to our new museum.

Opening a box

Opening a box

I arrive at about 8:30am and my first task is to check the work progress spreadsheet, which shows all of the shelves in the repository and is colour coded to mark which shelves are ready to move and which ones are yet to be completed.  We are 93% of the way through housing aisles B-F and need to be at 100% by the end of the year.

Aisle F

Aisle F

This is my first job as a Curator and it is a fantastic opportunity to handle and house an amazingly diverse collection. I have re-housed so many interesting objects, including original evidence from the Great Train Robbery. I follow a strict procedure for auditing the collection, re-housing objects and updating their location.

Before it has been prepared for the move.

Before it has been prepared for the move.

As I am still quite new to the role, a part of the day may be dedicated to training. I have recently received manual handling training, and can proudly say that I can move a telephone kiosk when called to do so!

I moved to my current role from the BPMA Philatelic team and I spend one day a week with the Philatelic department, assisting with preparations to move the stamp artwork collection to a new storage facility. Our next task is to tie approximately 600 boxes with pink archival tape, to ensure the security of the boxes during the move.

I finish work at about 5pm. At the weekend I go home to Yorkshire and spend some time in the countryside with my border terrier.

Chester outside of the BPMA

Chester outside of the BPMA

Have any questions for me or the rest of the curatorial team? We would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below and we will answer you on Wednesday.

-Joanna Espin, Curator

The Twelve Days of Christmas on the Mail Rail

Follow @postalheritage #MailRail over Christmas to see some festive paintings from the Mail Rail tunnels.

BackgroundMail Rail staff worked 6-days a week and 22-hours a day in the lead up to Christmas. During the 80s, families of staff were invited to a Christmas party down in the tunnels – a reward for their hardwork. The tunnels and platforms were transformed with snow machines and lights.

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‘Eight Maids a Milking’

Children could then ride to another platform where Father Christmas would be waiting with gifts at the end. Along the tunnel walls, the Twelve Days of Christmas were painted for passengers to view as they rode past.

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‘Twelve Drummers Drumming’

Follow #MailRail: To celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas, we will be tweeting a painting a day beginning with ‘A Partridge in a Pear Tree’ on Christmas Day. Follow @postalheritage #MailRail over the holiday season to see more of these spectacular images.