Read our top pics of new objects on display.

Earlier this month our curators and conservators were busy in the gallery space, changing some of the objects on display. This carefully managed process is called rotation. The practice of rotating objects ensures that light-sensitive or fragile objects are not on view for too long.

So who are our star newbies of 2020? Read on.

First UK Airmail Handstamp

One of our new exhibits covers the early airmail in Britain from 1911 to 1930s as Britain became one of the world’s largest carriers of mail by air. This ‘FIRST UK AERIAL POST, WINDSOR, 16 SEP 1911’ handstamp is on display along with archive photos and original items.

Windsor handstamp, 1911 (2010-0141/02)

The world’s first regular airmail service started between Hendon (London) and Windsor on 9 September 1911. It formed part of the celebrations for the coronation of King George V when the young pilot Gustav Hamel delivered one bag of mail in his Blériot XI monoplane.

Gustav Hamel in an aeroplane, 9 Sep 1911 (2011-0264/06)

Post Office Savings Bank Poster

This 1961 poster is a real gem. It was designed by artist Robert Scanlan to advertise the centenary of the Post Office Savings Bank. It features a picture of William Gladstone, who had piloted the Savings Bank Bill through Parliament, passing the very first Post Office Savings Bank office in a carriage.

Post Office Savings Bank Poster, (POST 110/2616)

A letter written by Brunel

Another brand new display tells the story of the famous SS Great Western, the first steamship designed specifically for transatlantic crossings to deliver mail and goods. Its maiden voyage was in 1837. It was designed by the great Isambard Kingdom Brunel and one of the objects is also a letter written by the man himself in 1843 where he talks about The Great Western ship.

A letter written by Brunel, 1843 © Brunel Institute

Iconic image of Brunel by the giant launching chains of his later steamship, the SS Great Eastern © Brunel Institute

Watercolour of Young Letter Carrier

We love this cute new addition to our exhibition. Painted by an unknown artist, it shows a young letter carrier dressed suitably for his rural postal rounds. He sports a smock that was often worn by rural workers in the 18th and early 19th century.

Watercolour of a young letter carrier, 19th century (2004-0183)

Lithograph by Eric Ravilious

What goes on above and below us? Both topics captivate our minds and will continue to do so. This new display looks at stamps issues that focussed on some of the many things we can find above us and below us, in the space and sea.

This design takes you inside the submarine and focusses on the Submarine Commander looking through a periscope. It was produced by Eric Ravilious while he was occupied full-time as an official war artist during WWII. His job was to record the conflict as best as he could. Unfortunately, it never made it onto stamps.

Submarines 2001 lithograph by Eric Ravilious

Submarines lithograph by Eric Ravilious, 2001

But there’s more! See other new exciting objects now on display in the museum exhibition.

– The Postal Museum Marketing Team