|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Monday, November 20, 2017
|Britain's Royal Mail opens up secret underground railway for new museum in London|
Dan Snow breaking ground at The Postal Museum by taking a sledgehammer to one of the walls to be demolished as work commenced on London's newest heritage attraction in London on February 4, 2016. Due to open in 2017, the museum in Clerkenwell is home to the Mail Rail - an attraction that will take visitors on trains through the disused old Post Office Underground Railway where driverless trains used to transport mail under the streets of London.
By: James Pheby
LONDON (AFP).- A mysterious underground railway spanning London forms the centrepiece of a new museum celebrating the Royal Mail postal service, that greased the wheels of the industrial revolution and British empire.
Television historian Dan Snow on Thursday took a sledgehammer to an old office deep beneath a central London street in a ground-breaking ceremony kicking off construction of the £26 million ($38 million, 33 million euros) Postal Museum that it is hoped will attract 186,000 visitors annually.
As-well as telling the story of 500 years of social history through the service, visitors will be able to ride part of the 6.5 mile (10.5 kilometre) subterranean tunnel, which the museum promises "will resound with an audio-visual symphony."
The "Mail Rail" driverless trains transported mail from central sorting offices to rail terminals in the city's east and west from 1927 to 2003.
"This is one of the most significant heritage sites in the UK," Snow told AFP.
"The line stretches from Paddington in West London all across to Whitechapel in the east, and is what kept London going. It's what helped make London the richest and most important city in the world 100 years ago.
"It's completely unknown by most Londoners. It's going to completely blow their minds."
The tunnels stored art treasures including the Rosetta Stone during World War I to protect them from Zeppelin air raids, and carried four million letters each day at their peak.
The museum, which opens next year, will trace the early days of horse-drawn mail in iconic "pillar-box" red coaches, the introduction of the penny black stamp which made it universally affordable to send mail long distances for the first time, through to today's rapidly evolving communications industry.
"These tunnels have seen all of human life pass through," said Snow.
Stuart Hodley, of the Heritage Lottery Fund that provided £5 million for the project, hoped that the "curious, eccentric underground railway" would appeal to natives as much as tourists.
"It's a living story. For Londoners, it's something that's theirs," he told AFP.
Royal Mail has struggled in the face of the electronic communications boom, but museum director Adrian Steel said: "The post office still has a central role in the political and social psyche of our country. It is not a story with an end."
© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse
February 5, 2016
Pivotal moments in women's chess highlighted in exhibit at the World Chess Hall of Fame
Britain's Royal Mail opens up secret underground railway for new museum in London
Smithsonian scientists discover butterfly-like fossil insect in the deep Mesozoic
Ashmolean Museum displays over one hundred unseen Warhols from the Hall Collection
150 years on, exhibit in Saint Petersburg probes the dark world of 'Crime and Punishment'
United Kingdom risks losing national treasures: Lawrence of Arabia's robes and dagger
North Carolina Museum of Art offers rare opportunity to watch conservator at work
Solo exhibition of work by Amy Sillman on view at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. in New York
Exhibition presents well-preserved example of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's early functionalism
Ruth DeYoung Kohler assumes new role at John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Wisconsin
A $13 million gift to Columbia establishes professorship and Center for Japanese Art History
Stephenson's February 19 auction features furniture, Americana, other antiques
ICP announces recipients of 2016 Infinity Awards: David Bailey, Zanele Muholi, and Walid Raad
Cologne opens carnival on edge after sex attacks
Funk legend Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire dead at 74
French culture minister woos Hollywood studios
Artpace announces 2016 Spring International Artist-in-Residence
Works by Calder, Lichtenstein will headline Cottone's March 19th auction
Extensive multichannel audio and video installations unfold across three floors of the New Museum
Parrotta Contemporary Art opens exhibition of works by Pieter Laurens Mol
Exhibition at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery presents a range of works from the 1950s to the 1990s by Jess
Norman Rockwell Museum mourns the passing of artist/educator/museum trustee, Murray Tinkelman
"Autobiography" at Index offers different approaches to the complexities and politics of subjectivity
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Grasshopper found embedded in van Gogh masterpiece at Nelson-Atkins
2.- Scientists discover a mysterious, plane-sized 'void' in Great Pyramid in Egypt
3.- The largest collection of Viking artifacts on display in North America comes to the Royal Ontario Museum
4.- Rafael Soriano opens at Frost Art Museum FIU: Kicks off Miami's Art Basel season
5.- Cleveland Museum of Art releases new strategic plan
6.- Exhibition tells the story of the artists who fled to Britain to escape war in France
7.- Zahi Hawass criticises pyramid void 'discovery'
8.- French court to rule on Nazi-looted Pissarro painting
9.- Clark Art Institute exhibition studies less-explored aspects of Impressionist works
10.- Exhibitions in Germany and Switzerland present works from the Gurlitt Estate
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.