Not much will drag me out to West London, but one that definitely will is the promise of transport nerdery. This Saturday (after spending the morning viewing the Cheapside Hoard with Kathryn – phew, culture all over) we trundled way over to Acton Town to visit the London Transport Museum Depot‘s open day.
Emerging from the attractive 1930s tube station, the museum depot is directly opposite. The first big clue is the vintage buses giving tours in and out of the entrance.
In the giant warehouse space, upstairs houses a huge collection of station signage and maps dating from the 1920s up the present day. It was fascinating to see how the map changed over time.
Some nice type specimens to spot along the way, including a plan chest stuffed with the Johnson Underground typeface blocks.
Downstairs is an assortment of cool old machinery: ticket machines, whole kiosks, signal boxes, clocks and so on.
And there are a load of old buses and tube carriages – reminding me of the Brooklyn museum. But cooler ;)
I don’t know if this is a regular fixture, but on the day we visited there were a bunch of stalls selling ephemera: postcards, old maps and brochures, decommissioned signs and stickers, and so on. We scored some great stuff: old place nameplates, a deadstock moquette seat cover and some postcards and stickers, all for very cheap.
I’m so glad that such an effort is being made to store all this historical stuff and show it off to the public. If you fancy visiting – and I highly recommend it – there are monthly open days and regular guided tours. Check out the site for the next available dates.