Friday, 21 November 2008

Swindon, Here We Come

It's been more than 10 years since the National Postal Museum in London closed. I was fortunate to have visited it several times, and I still have fond memories of it.

After the museum closed, the organization floundered a bit, but eventually Royal Mail merged it with the Post Office Archives and it was reborn as the British Postal Museum & Archive, known as BPMA.

Today, BPMA is thriving, but it has been cramped in its temporary home at the Mt. Pleasant postal facility.

Recently, the BPMA announced that a new home and museum would be built in Swindon.

Being a Yankee, I had no idea where Swindon was, so I turned to Google maps. It’s directly west of London, just off the M4 motorway. The new site is about 87 miles from the old NPM, which was in the King Edward Building near St. Paul’s Cathedral.

The new location is in a development known as Churchward Village, which was previously the Great Western Railway works. Also on the site is “Steam” - the museum of the Great Western Railway, the National Monument Records part of English Heritage and the headquarters of the National Trust. Finally, there’s a leisure shopping retail outlet that attracts several million visitors per year.

No date has been given for when the museum will open, but Tony Conder, CEO of BPMA, called this a “four-year programme to reopen full public access to the collection,” so I guess 2013 seems to be it. I can’t wait. See you in Swindon.

--Larry

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