A journey to the Transport Museum

Having been meaning to go for ages, we meandered our way to the Transport Museum for an afternoon amongst London’s rich and varied transport history. We were glad of the half-price entry we received from attending ‘Tubespotting’, Geoff Marshall’s hilarious Edinburgh Fringe preview show. We’d come across him via his videos on Londonist’s website (about the Tube, funnily enough) but it turns out he’s also the world record holder for visiting all the tube stations. Speedily. Videos, comedy shows and his twitter feed (@geofftech) come highly recommended for any other transport geeks.

Anyway, back to this afternoon out. We first encountered an intricate model of the ‘cut and cover’ construction technique used to make the earliest tube network:

Cut and cover construction

And got slightly freaked out by this historical wooden tube carriage, where you could sit amongst disapproving Victorian commuters…

Wooden tube carriage

My favourite part of the museum was the bus section, temporary home to the amazing “Old Bill”, amongst others. This bus was used in the first World War as a form of transport to and from the French front line. Imagine being in a French country lane and seeing a red London bus barrelling down towards you…

WWI London bus

Finally, we took a rather more modern bus to the Saatchi Gallery, on the Kings Road. A lesser-known London venue, this is one of our highest recommendations for free and thought-provoking art. Changing every few months, exhibitions range from photography to huge, disgusting beetles made of [casts of] human skulls climbing the walls:

Stop bugging me

The exhibit on the bottom floor, though, doesn’t change. It’s a fascinating, minimalist installation; mysterious at first, you eventually realise as much from the smell as the look that it is, in fact, a layer of oil across the entire floor surface.

Saatchi oil

We’d definitely recommend a visit.

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