A Day at the London Transport Museum.

Posted on 15/01/2017 By

London Transport Museum: A railway especially for me. A tube train...

The London Transport Museum.

Bertie… “A whole day at a museum! How boring is that!”

Bobby… “Now, now Bertie. This is a special museum. Wonderful for children, bear’s and old chaps reliving their youth.”

So, I was shoved unceremoniously into that red rucksack for atmospheric Acton. And what a surprise was waiting for me. Brilliant! A bear bonanza. The story is mostly mine, but I have allowed Bobby to wallow in a little nostalgia here and there.

The London Transport Museum at Covent Garden is a cornucopia of delight for big boys, small boys, bear’s, old boys and any females who love train sets and colourful design. I hope that’s not chauvinistic… The museum has hundreds of thousands of exhibits. Many kept at their Acton Depot. A large warehouse facility large enough to store whole trains and approximately 320,000 other items. Fully equipped for open days a few weekends a year, where many volunteers help to run truly memorable occasions.

The 2017 open weekends have not been announced yet, but I recommend you sign up for the London Transport Museum’s free newsletter on the website.

www.ltmuseum.co.uk/whats-on/museum-depot/open-weekends

There are lots of other events including visiting ghost stations which appear on this newsletter. Very popular too. Acton Museum is right opposite Acton Town tube station.

From now on this is largely a picture blog. With captions and a little “When was young” from Bobby…

London Transport Museum: First sight of the museum on leaving Acton station. Not very exciting is it?

First sight of the London Transport Museum on leaving Acton station. Not very exciting is it?

London Transport Museum: Decrepit bus shelter from Abinger Hammer, Surrey. New one there thankfully. Still boring.

Decrepit bus shelter from Abinger Hammer, Surrey. New one there thankfully. Still boring.

London Transport Museum: Decrepit bus shelter from Abinger Hammer, Surrey. New one there thankfully. Still boring.

Just to prove where it came from!

London Transport Museum: This is better. Free rides around the Acton area on an iconic 1950s Routemaster.

This is better. Free rides around the Acton area on an iconic 1950s Routemaster.

If this is your cup of tea, TfL still run a handful of these old buses on Route 15. Trafalgar Square to Tower Hill. With a conductor. Oyster cards and passes. Clippies consigned to history.

London Transport Museum: Wow …this is more like it. A railway especially for me. A tube train...

Wow …this is more like it. A railway especially for me. A tube train…

London Transport Museu: An Electric Locomotive

… an Electric Locomotive …

London Transport Museum: Even a Steam Train.

… Even a Steam Train!

But, what is inside that warehouse……..

London Transport Museum: First the ticket office and our first volunteer

First the ticket office and our first volunteer.

Inside I realised just how big the London Transport Museum is. Tube trains, buses, trams and thousands of signs and other memorabilia.

London Transport Museum: In front of the Tube Trains.

In front of some of the Tube Trains.

London Transport Museum: Our Second volunteer. Looking after Victorian steam train carriages from the Metropolitan Railway.

Our second volunteer. Looking after Victorian steam train carriages from the Metropolitan Railway.

London Transport Museum: From a time when you could go first class on the Underground.

From a time when you could go first class on the Underground.

And so to buses.

London Transport Museum: Well before Bobby, this. LA 9928. LGOC B-type bus B340. Solid tyres and a very young chap trying to turn the engine.

Well before Bobby, this. LGOC B-type bus B340. Solid tyres and a very young chap trying to turn the engine.

And so it’s over to wallowing in nostalgia.

Bobby

London Transport Museum: One of the last London Trams.

One of the last London Trams.

My dad took me on one in 1952, the year they went forever.

Electric. Replaced by diesel buses, now poisoning London…

Make sure you watch this through. It’s a world from my own lifetime. That tram ride with my dad went down the Kingsway tunnel. It’s still there and you can see the tram tracks at the Southampton Row end. I’ll take some pictures for a future blog.

London Transport Museum: HYM 768. A Trolley bus. Class Q1 1948 BUT 9641T, Metro-Cammell 70-seater body.

A Trolley bus. Class Q1 1948 BUT 9641T, Metro-Cammell 70-seater body.

Big, quiet. Fast. Electric no fumes. 1962. Replaced by diesel buses now, poisoning London. These were a much bigger part of my young days. Trolley buses went from Kingston and Sutton. Local routes I used. The following video shows a London of bomb sites, pre fabs and virtually 100% British built vehicles. How did we survive without mobile phones, iPads and so on. We went out and made our own fun. The trolley bus….

London Transport Museum: Tower vehicle to service overhead lines.

Tower vehicle to service overhead lines.

London Transport Museum: GS 64. A GS (Guy Special) country bus for rural routes. MXX 364.

GS 64. A GS (Guy Special) country bus for rural routes.

RF 537. An RF that took me to school on the 213. NLE 537.

RF 537. An RF that took me to school on the 213.

Bertie… So there you are. That little section took hours while Bobby poured over those old films. Was it really that long ago? It was for him. But I could see fun in the London Transport Museum. Lots more girl volunteers. The chauvinistic remark was just that.

London Transport Museum: The cloakroom.

The cloakroom.

London Transport Museum: Looking for Paddington.

Looking for Paddington.

London Transport Museum: Here he is!

Here he is!

London Transport Museum: Found Paddington!

Found him!

London Transport Museum: Girls, girls, girls. It's my charm you know!

Girls, girls, girls. It’s my charm you know!

London Transport Museum: Where’s the toilet?

Where’s the toilet?

London Transport Museum: The Mr Man Routemaster.

The Mr Man Routemaster.

London Transport Museum: “Mummy… there’s a bear up there!’

“Mummy… there’s a bear up there!’

London Transport Museum: Time to go home.

Time to go home.

Bobby will put open days for Acton on the blog. See you there.

Lighting a Candle for Diddley.

St George’s Cathedral, Southwark. Close to the Imperial Museum. Not particularly exciting from the outside. But I wanted to light a candle for Diddley and went in and found a cathedral with a fascinating history. For another time.

London Transport Museum. Lighting a Candle for Diddley: St George's Cathedral, Southwark.

St George’s Cathedral, Southwark.

London Transport Museum. Lighting a Candle for Diddley: St George's Cathedral, Southwark.

Lighting a Candle for Diddley.


 

Museum    


  1. Adam Zafar says:

    Hi Bob,

    Was lovely speaking with your earlier and thanks so much for introducing me to Bertie, my daughter will love him. We’ll be sure to keep a keen eye on where he is and what he’s up to.

    Look forward to seeing Bertie getting stuck in and promoting the work of Railway Children.

    Best Wishes,

    Adam

    • Bertie says:

      Christmas will be a Railway Children Special. I’ll contact Helen around October for some ideas. I enjoyed our chat. Keep your eyes open at Acton

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