Celebrating 500 years of Royal Mail

24 June 2016

A lot has changed over 500 years! Fundraising Events Officer Rhea shows and tells how we celebrated Royal Mail’s anniversary at the Guildhall…

Last Saturday we exhibited at London’s prestigious Guildhall to help celebrate 500 years since the mail became ‘Royal’. A combination of the stunning venue, make-your-own-hard-hat activities and no rain meant that a great day was had by all.

The Postal Museum team, ready to go

The Postal Museum team

It was an early start to set-up our various elements on show – not only were we spreading the word about our new museum, but we also brought with us The Last Post and (shiny new) Mail Rail exhibitions, as well as an original Mail Rail car.

banners from the Mail Rail exhibition in the Guildhall yard

Grand surroundings for our grand new exhibition

People standing next to the Mail Rail carriage

The Mail Rail car had many admirers

How better to mark the anniversary than with the appearance of a beautiful horse-drawn Mail Coach? Crowds gathered to see both the arrival of the coach and postman Mark Penfold, who had walked all the way from Edinburgh – an incredible 500 miles – to raise money for charity.

A horse-drawn Mail Coach enters the Guildhall courtyard

Trotting through time: a horse-drawn Mail Coach enters the yard

Postman Mark Penfold finishing his 500-mile walk

Postman Mark Penfold crossing the finish line!

We were certainly popular. We met with lots of new people excited to see us when we open, many of whom were keen to sign up for our volunteering programme. It’s great to receive such a positive response from people who may have not heard about our project until now.

A family meets mascot Lenny the Letter

Lenny the Letter even made an appearance!

What really got people’s attention, however, was the debut of the Mail Rail exhibition’s inflatable tunnel – which held its own against the wind!

An inflatable mockup of a section of the Mail Rail tunnels on show

Our Mail Rail inflatable gives a taste of the tunnels

On top of sharing our knowledge and building anticipation for The Postal Museum and Mail Rail, as we draw closer to the final stretch, some of us even found time for a costume change…

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– Rhea Harvey, Fundraising Events Officer