Becca Jane St Clair

Personal Blog

London Transport and War

It’s no secret, my husband is a big transport nut. And surprisingly, I’m starting to turn into one, too. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, one of Tim’s job benefits is rail passes. We get a certain amount per year, but each time we use it, it’s valid for 48 hours. We try to plan overnight trips or back-to-back daytrips to make the most of our passes. I put in a request to go to London, as London is in my top 5 places to visit in the UK, and I hadn’t been to London since I moved. Tim agreed, and I’m sure I shocked him when I told him where I wanted to spend the day – The London Transport Museum and the Imperial War Museum.

The London Transport Museum is in Covent Gardens. If you’re approaching the market from the underground station, walk around the left side and you should see the entrance straight ahead. Admission to the museum is £13.50 for adults, but this includes an annual pass to return at any time in the following 12 months.

The museum has everything and anything related to transport in London, including old underground cars from the ages complete with models dressed in the fashion of that era. When you walk into the museum, they have the walls decorated with maps of transit systems all over the world, and imagine my surprise to see a corner of a New Jersey Transit map!

In addition to underground cars, there are plenty of busses, trollys, trolly busses and trams on display – even some horse-drawn vehicles from the 1800s! They have over 80 assorted transportation vehicles in their collection, 20 of which can be seen at the museum daily. If you want to see the other vehicles, you have to pay a visit to the depot Acton Town. Many of the vehicles are open so you can climb aboard and see the interiors.

There is so much to see at the Transport Museum, if I went into detail you would feel as though you were reading a novel, so I’ll let you go down and explore it on your own.

Our second stop for the day was the Imperial War Museum. The IWM is surrounded by the Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, a perfect spot to have a picnic lunch before entering the museum. This museum is free, however if you want to see one of the special exhibits there might be a charge.

I wanted to go because they were having a Ministry of Food special exhibit showcasing life during World War I and II, including the “Dig for Victory” campaign and the Women’s Land Army, two topics that interest me.

By the time we got to the IWM, I was very tired and I was starting to not feel too good, so I skipped out on parts of the museum in order to make it to the MoF exhibit. The MoF is running until 3 January 2011 and there is a small fee (less than a fiver). To be honest, the exhibit didn’t have anything “new” in it. Everything that was on display was something I had either seen elsewhere or read about, but I think that was to be expected since this is a major interest of mine. I even have been trying to decorate my kitchen in the post-war style. But if you are unfamiliar with the MoF, this would be a great exhibit to take a look at, and you don’t have much time left to do so!

After the IWM, we wandered over to the Thames, and I debated getting a ticket for the London Eye. Tim doesn’t want to go on it, so I would have gone up on my own. I decided not to, and hope that I can ride on it when my mom visits in December.

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