Transported through time

Published September 9, 2019

Of the wide variety of museums to visit in London, for some reason, I opted to go to the London Transport Museum. I say for some reason, as though I am not actually a total nerd for trains and the underground and the history of both. It’s really a wonder I haven’t been before.

London Transport Museum

The museum is situated near Covent Garden and claims to let you “discover London’s history at the world’s leading museum of urban transport, online, in our Museum and at our Depot. Our Depot houses over 320,000 objects from our collection, including trains, buses, signs, photographs, posters, and large objects - to name a few!”

Sounds good and it was an interesting experience, but it wasn’t perfect.

Things I liked:

  • The best thing about the whole experience was the initial lift, that takes you up to the top level but the floor display showed you were clearly going back in time. Starting at 2019, it whizzed back about 200 years so that you climbed out firmly in the Victorian era.
  • The poster displays and the bits about fonts and maps and design.
  • How much info there was about electric vehicles – although it’s also depressing to know that we had all this technology in the 1930s and even before, but somehow have managed to forget all about it and wreck the planet instead.

Things I didn’t like so much:

  • There was no clear path to follow, which doesn’t always matter in museums, but as this was a journey through history and was clearly starting you at the beginning, then it felt like it could have done with a bit more guidance.
  • Quite a big reliance on scary mannequin models. I do not like these.
  • A lot of information on boards that really just felt like too much to take in at once. I guess that’s why they give you the option to buy the ticket allowing you to come back free for 12 months.

It’s a good museum, with plenty to learn, so nothing to complain about, but I’m not totally sure the entry fee was justified. Quite a lot of it was closed off for refurb which is just a matter of timing, but didn’t help. If you like trains and buses and stuff, it’s worth a look, but I reckon you can get just as much, if not more, info on YouTube.

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