The Postal Museum launches public call out for letters, cards, parcels and packaging from Lockdown

Lockdown Post: a letter, handmade face covering and mail art envelope © Rehana Gittens

The Postal Museum are searching for letters, envelopes, greetings cards and packaging from Lockdown – the latest chapter in the 500-year old story of postal services in the UK. The museum, which opened in 2017, explores British social and communications history as seen through the eyes of its iconic postal service.

Now, they are seeking donations of items from across the UK, to add to the museum’s collection, telling the story of Lockdown through items sent and received in the post since March.

Chris Taft, Head of Collections at The Postal Museum, said:

“Postal networks have long been a part of our social infrastructure, but the COVID-19 emergency has created new and different meanings to the purpose and value of the post. We want our museum collections to reflect how postal operations have changed to deal with the pandemic, how people are using the post to maintain personal relationships and the importance of the post to the economy.

Our museum might be based in London, but our collections represent the whole of the country, so we want to reach far and wide to capture how the post is connecting people across the UK and the world at this moment in time.”

The museum are looking for the public to submit offers of donations and a selection will be collected across three areas:

Letters and envelopes: The museum are looking for letters, whatever the content, and where possible envelopes particularly those that have been personalised with mail art sent since March 2020.

Greetings cards: Cards reflect how the post has helped us mark special occasions without us being able to meet in person and many new designs have been created that respond to major world events in 2020.

Parcels and packaging: Businesses have used the post to continue trading during the pandemic. One box can tell many stories, from the innovation of a company and the changing buying habits of consumers, to the personal impact receiving items had on someone in lockdown from supplies to gifts.

The project, COVID-19 and the Post, will provide a vital resource to understand the changing uses and the importance of the post in this unprecedented time. It is the first phase of an ongoing project collecting objects and personal accounts to reflect the shifting relationships people have with the post and the impact on postal and delivery workers.

You can submit an item to donate to The Postal Museum on their website: www.postalmuseum.org/wecollect

The Postal Museum launches campaign to find family histories from relatives of Post Office service personnel who gave their lives during the Second World War

The Post Office Rescue and Salvage Squad, c.1940 © The Postal Museum

To mark the 75th anniversary of VE, Victory in Europe, Day on 8 May 2020, The Postal Museum is inviting the public to share their family histories of the Post Office heroes who lost their lives during the First and Second World Wars.

The campaign will be officially launched by historian and BBC presenter Dan Snow on The Postal Museum’s website and social media channels on 8 May 2020.

The Post Office, known as GPO prior to the 1960s, was once the largest employer in the UK. During both World Wars the postal service was a vital part of the war effort with 70,000 employees fighting in each war. Both men and women of the GPO carried out the essential job of helping to keep communication lines open. Sadly, 12,830 postal employees are recorded to have lost their lives fighting.

As part of the commemoration of postal workers who gave their lives, James Trezies, a postal worker himself, created a unique record and memorial to his fallen colleagues from the two world wars. Over the period of 3 years in the mid-1950s Trezies researched and hand-wrote the names of each of the fallen on individual sheets of cream wove paper, with each name appearing in alphabetical order.

The completed pages were bound into two volumes, one for each conflict, later donated to The Postal Museum in 2015 by The Post Office Fellowship of Remembrance. These volumes have been recently digitised and made available online with the support of The Post Office Fellowship of Remembrance and BT Archives.

Now, members of the public are invited to access both memorial books at the GPO War Heroes website. Here, they can search the name of relatives or friends and add details about their lives through a simple form. Submissions will be reviewed by the museum team and added to the website, to bring these volumes of names alive with citizen history.

Chris Taft, Head of Collections at The Postal Museum, said:

“One of the stories we’ve uncovered is of Percy Walter Minns. Percy joined the Post Office as a Postman in 1937, before this he had served in the Royal Navy and would re-join in 1939 to fight in the Second World War. However, on 17 September 1939 in the beginning weeks of the war, Percy died on the H.M.S. Courageous along with over 500 crew members when the ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat. He is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial.

We’ve now added Percy’s story to the GPO War Heroes website, and we hope that others will follow and share their own stories of relatives, so these online memorial books become a valuable resource for family history researchers and the future generations alike.”

GPO War Heroes website can be viewed at gpowarheroes.org.uk
For more information about the campaign visit postalmuseum.org

Gibraltar Post & Go overprints released to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day

The Gibraltar Philatelic Bureau Ltd is proud to announce that a special overprint will be issued on the 8th May 2020 commemorating the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. The overprint on the Gibraltar flag will be vended in the DKU Unit located in the Gibraltar Philatelic Bureau head office and will read ‘VE Day 75th’.


The Post & Go stamps can be purchased online on www.gibraltar-stamps.com by email info@gibraltar-stamps.com or over the phone +350 20075662. Free airmail shipping is available in May 2020.

The Postal Museum releases exclusive virtual tour of underground Mail Rail through Make a Connection hub

Mail Rail from Home virtual experience © The Postal Museum

The Postal Museum launches their Make a Connection online hub for everyone to enjoy the museum experience virtually whilst its physical doors remain temporarily closed due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

For a limited time only, everyone will be able to experience the museum’s star attraction – Mail Rail – from the comfort of their own home. Viewers of the Mail Rail from Home virtual tour can explore the hidden subterranean world of the 100-year-old Post Office Railway on a miniature train transporting them through its original narrow tunnels.

Mail Rail from Home immersive virtual ride lasts approximately 10 minutes and is narrated by Ray Middlesworth, former Mail Rail engineer. Ray guides viewers through the tunnels that run beneath the Mount Pleasant sorting office, stopping at various points along the way, including the largely unchanged station platforms to give an insight into how the railway kept post coursing through London for 22 hours a day and kept Britain, and the world, connected. A story relevant now more than ever.

An impressive audio-visual display transports viewers back in time to help them understand the impact of the railway on our ability to communicate with friends, family and business partners across the world today. Powerful events from our history, including the Blitz, are revealed and a theatrical experience peels back the layers of time to bring the station back to its lively 1930s heyday.

In addition to this virtual experience, which features footage usually exclusive to the in-museum experience, visitors to Make a Connection online can see the museum’s off-site store where large objects like vehicles and pillar boxes are stored, explore objects from the collections, revisit past exhibitions and read stories of extraordinary communication from Postal Museum experts to inspire them to make meaningful connections during lockdown.

Make a Connection online hub is open for a limited time only at: www.postalmuseum.org/make-a-connection
Mail Rail from Home can be viewed at: www.postalmuseum.org/mail-rail-from-home