For one weekend this September, London Transport Museum’s Depot in Acton, West London, will throw open its doors, giving visitors the chance to explore a transport treasure trove.
Rarely open to the public, the Depot houses most of London Transport Museum’s extensive collection – over 320,000 artefacts from the Capital’s transport history. September’s event will offer visitors the chance to see fascinating objects not currently on display at the Museum in Covent Garden, as well as enjoy a lively programme of talks, workshops, guided tours, demonstrations and family activities.
Inspired by London’s plethora of railway termini stations – the Capital has more of these than any other city in the world – the All change! Open Weekend programme will delve into the history of London’s mainline stations and rail routes. From Waterloo’s hidden features and the ambitious infrastructure project that transformed London Bridge into an award-winning station, to the neighbourhoods that have been created and shaped by the network, visitors will discover another side to the stations and journeys that are part and parcel of everyday life in modern London.
At the All change! Depot Open Weekend visitors can:
- Join urban researcher and author Tom Bolton for ‘The Wrong Side of the Tracks’, a talk exploring the unique neighbourhoods created and influenced by London’s railway termini.
- Listen to Tube expert Oliver Green discuss his brand-new publication on the history of the Underground, then join him for a signing with award-winning photographer Benjamin Graham, who provided specially commissioned images for the work.
- Delve into the colourful history of London’s iconic Tube seating fabric – ‘moquette’ – as author Andrew Martin brings to life his new title ‘Seats Of London’, the first guide ever published on the distinctive designs. Produced in collaboration with London Transport Museum – grab a copy at the Depot shop.
- Travel back in time to exotic shores with Christian Wolmar as he talks Railways and the Raj, mapping out the evolution of Indian Railways, one of the largest rail networks in the world.
- Listen to the story of London’s oldest railway terminus – London Bridge – and learn about its transformation by the Thameslink programme into a triple award-winning station.
- Sit back and enjoy a screening of John Schlesinger’s BAFTA award winning Terminus (1961), a short film documenting the rhythms and dramas of a day in the life of Waterloo station in the 1960s.
- Hop on a vintage bus to take a scenic tour of Acton and the surrounding area.
- Discover weird and wonderful relics on a tour of the Depot’s small object store, from original station tiles and bus models to a pair of District-line moquette inspired Nike trainers, and even a London Transport produced Christmas pudding from 1975!
- Unearth hidden features of Waterloo with John King from the Friends of London Transport Museum, and learn how this special station has evolved to become the UK’s largest terminus.
- Explore the underneath of a vintage bus on a guided bus pit tour.
- Have a go at being a train driver in a Victoria Line driving cab and learn how the trains on the world’s first automatic railway work.
- Watch a demonstration with restored London Underground signalling frames.
- Shop for unique transport-related products and gifts in the Depot shop.
- Visit the pop-up food village for teas, coffee and a bar, as well as delicious hot and cold food, all served from a variety of vintage vehicles brought to you by StreetDots.
With lots of activities for families, visitors can also:
- Take a ride on a miniature railway.
- Learn how to make a mini Lego train track and sequence of signals.
- Track down costumed characters from the past and listen to their stories.
- Explore the Family Zone and get creative with craft activities, have fun dressing up and enjoy the soft play area.
- Join a bitesize family tour called My Favourite Vehicle and see highlights from the Depot’s collection of vintage buses and trains.
Open Weekend at London Transport Museum’s Depot, Acton Town
11:00-17:00, 28 and 29 September 2019
Kids go free