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Campaign! An exhibition curated by Langley Academy students.

The British Postal Museum & Archive blog

Emily Llewellyn,  a Year 12 student at Langley Academy and member of their Museum Council explains how she used a story from the BPMA collection in a student-led exhibition.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESCampaign! Langley Academy

My school, The Langley Academy in Slough, which is the UK’s first school with a focus in Museum Learning, recently curated an exhibition called Campaign! as part of our Museum Learning term. 

The British Postal Museum were kind enough to allow us to include some of their images in the exhibition.  This included a photograph on display in the Suffragette case. The photograph shows two women who became known as “human letters” after they posted themselves to Downing Street in an attempt to personally deliver a message to the Prime Minister.


The photo on display alongside an umbrella belonging to Nancy Astor, the first female MP who also lived locally to Slough.

The exhibition was curated by the…

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The Christmas Nativity

The British Postal Museum & Archive blog

This year’s Christmas stamps from Royal Mail depict scenes from the Nativity of Jesus, which appears in both the Gospel of Luke and Matthew. The theme of Christmas stamps alternate each year between secular and religious subject matter, though it is not the first time The Nativity has featured.

Christmas Stamps revised artwork Royal Mail Christmas Stamps The Nativity 2015

The stamps show the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem and the key characters present at the birth of Christ. In the gospel of Luke, Joseph and Mary travel to Bethlehem for the census and it is there in a barn that Jesus is born. Both stamps below depict the journey with Mary upon a donkey.

Christmas 13p Stamp (1979) Mary and Joseph travelling to Bethlehem Christmas 13p Stamp (1979) Mary and Joseph travelling to Bethlehem

22p, Joseph and Mary arriving at Bethlehem from Christmas. Through The Eyes of a Child (1981) 22p, Joseph and Mary arriving at Bethlehem from Christmas. Through The Eyes of a Child (1981)

The Nativity image is recognisable to most with the family congregated…

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London Architecture

The British Postal Museum & Archive blog

London is full of superb classical architecture, predominantly produced after the Great Fire of London that ravaged the city in 1666. Only a few Tudor buildings survived from before this period, including the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey.

InternationalStampExhibition09048050p International Stamp Exhibition, Miniature Sheet, 50p, 1980

The above miniature sheet celebrates the achievements of innovative architects and an ever-changing London skyline; here are a few more examples of the Capital’s iconic landmarks.

Westminster Abbey

1966900thAnniversaryWestminsterAbbey28021966A 900th Anniversary of Westminster Abbey, 3d,  1966

1966900thAnniversaryWestminsterAbbey28021966B025 900th Anniversary of Westminster Abbey, 2s 6d, 1966

King Edward the Confessor’s original abbey was knocked down by Henry III in 1245 to make way for the structure we see today. It has the highest Gothic vault in England, decorated with a delicate fan design as seen in the 2/6 stamp above. The abbey has seen the coronations, marriages and burials of many of our British monarchs.

The Houses of…

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Pop it in the Post – Your world at the end of the street

The British Postal Museum & Archive blog

Last year we celebrated 175 years since the introduction of the world’s first stamp, the Penny Black, and 160 years since the invention of the pillar box. Both are now everyday objects that we are more than familiar with. Pop it in the Post, our family-friendly exhibition, explores these and other new, and sometimes quirky, ideas that made the mail accessible to all. You can visit now at Havering Museum in Romford until 26 March, free of charge.

Painting titled 'The Postman', 1891 ‘The Postman’, 1891 (OB1997.5)

Children and adults alike can discover the story of the letter writing revolution and how millions of people’s lives were changed as a result of the innovative problem-solving of Rowland Hill and Anthony Trollope, the brains behind the stamp and pillar box.

Pop it in the Post at Islington Museum, March 2015 Pop it in the Post at Islington Museum last year

As part of the exhibition you can see the writing slope and handstamp Trollope used…

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Penarth Daily News

The new photo booth in Penarth Post Office The new photo booth in Penarth Post Office

A new DIY photo-booth set up this month in Penarth Post Office in Glebe St is reportedly attracting plenty of business from local customers.

The “Photo-Me “Booth  is located inside the Post Office where the abortive  – and long-since dismantled –  e-cigarettes counter once used to stand.

Since the closure of Dawson Strange Photography in Windsor Arcade the only town-centre  option for people wanting passport pictures or ID photos taken in Penarth has been  the personal photographic portrait-service provided at Kitchener and Thomas – which continues to thrive.

Customers can choose between passport-style photos and "fun photos" Customers can choose between passport-style photos and “fun photos”

However now, for people who would rather do it themselves – the Photo-Me franchise at the Post Office offers a DIY alternative. There’s an adjustable stool to get the height right and customers can see what they look like on the built-in screen and check…

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“the use of the post-office is in her own hands” – Anthony Trollope, Pillar Boxes, and Love Letters


Anthony Trollope invented the pillar-box, and then regretted it. That’s one of those facts which has been at the back of my mental library for a while: I couldn’t quite remember where I’d read it.  But, like Browning and his dictionary, or Tennyson and his pint of cream, it’s one of the little vignettes which popped up whenever I was thinking about nineteenth-century literature.

pillar box

He regretted it, goes the story, because it allowed young women to correspond with men without having to take the letter to a male relative to have it franked and sent by post. Like the railway which enabled Lady Audley to get up to all sorts of dastardly things and be back in time to look innocent, it was a technological advance which threatened a particular moral framework.  My tutor used to say you didn’t understand nineteenth-century literature and mentality properly until you’d thought long and…

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