The Lost Property Office

On Thursday 10th May some volunteers at London Transport Museum went to have a look around the TfL Lost Property Office. You would not believe what some people leave behind on London Transport!

Outside the Lost Property Office

Envelopes containing lost mobile phones in the Lost Property Office

Can you believe these are all mobile phones? Last year, there were 25,450 left on London Transport. One of the most unusual things left behind was a coffin – thankfully it was only a prop for a play! If you have lost something on a bus, tube or in a taxi, and it gets handed in, it will be kept at the Lost Property Office for 3 month (longer if found in a taxi).

Cigarette papers and filter tips in the Lost Property Office

And they keep hold of everything, even if it would cost less to replace it than to pay the handling charge.

A doll from the fipm Childs Play in the Lost Property Office

Written by Freddie Still, Volunteer
Photos taken by Richard West and Freddie Still, Volunteers

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Map as Inspiration – Undergrounding London

In 2009, Antonio Cortés, an English language teacher from Colegio Cardenal Spínola school in Spain, got in touch with the Museum to tell us about his project ‘Undergrounding London’. Since our first contact, the Museum has kept in touch with Antonio and his students, working together to develop new themes for the ‘Undergrounding London’ project. So when we started developing our collection in preparation for the Mind the Map exhibition, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for Antonio’s story to be captured for our collection. Hear all about the project and see some of the activities in action in their fantastic film:

Since taking part in the Map as Inspiration project, Antonio has continued to work with the Museum, including most recently when he and his students wrote some new labels for our upcoming poster parade ‘What is a Map’. We hope to continue working with Colegio Cardenal Spínola school into the future!

Map as Inspiration – ThinkQuest Japan

Another of the brilliant projects who took part in our Map as Inspiration project was that of Shota Kuroki and the ThinkQuest team from Kanagawa University High School in Japan. Shota and his team are interested in information graphics, and use Beck’s map as an example of how such a simple idea can have a massive impact on how information is communicated around the world. Their project won the ThinkQuest Japan award in 2011, and the Museum was delighted to have been able to work with the group.

Here’s their video:

After winning the competition, the team sent us some messages:

Hello, I’m Yuki Hirotsu and I took charge of the animation on the top page of our website. Thank you for giving us an opportunity to display our website and video at your exhibition in 2012.

We have been working on this project since last April and we managed to make a good website thanks to your cooperation.

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The global exchange between you and us led to the championship.

We hope we go to London where is a beautiful city sometime in the near future.

Thank you very much!

Chiaki Matsumoto

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My name is Ryosuke Matsuoka. We sent a video letter to your museum in December.

Thank you for sending ours various kinds of material such as the book, the poster, and so on for my preparation of website. This was the first time for ours to communicate with people in foreign countries without interpreter. I’m glad to send a mail to you again, because I want to let you know about my website. With your help, we won the highest award in the website.

Thank you so much and I`m looking forward to visiting the museum one day.

Map as Inspiration – Orchard Hill College

Orchard Hill is a special needs college cased in Carshalton, south-east London. The college caters for students with a range of needs, and has fantastic staff and facilities. Up until a couple of years ago though, the names of the classrooms and floors of the college were confusing and hard to remember, so the staff and students decided to take action. After a brainstorm with the students, it was decided that each floor should be named and colour coded as one of the Underground lines, with each room being renamed after a station on chosen line. The new scheme has been a great success – hear all about it from the students and teachers themselves:

Map as Inspiration – an introduction

This month, the Museum will be unveiling its exciting new exhibition, Mind the Map. The exhibition forms part of the Museum’s Stories of the World Cultural Olympiad programme for 2012.

Mind the Map not only celebrates the impact the Tube map has had on design and cartography, but also explores the international influence of the iconic diagram. During the planning of the exhibition, the Museum searched for projects which are taking place around the world, and which use the map as more than just a navigation tool.

Have you ever used a map to learn a new language? Or how about to name rooms and floors in your workplace? People all over the world, from Spain to Japan, as well as here in the UK, are using the Tube map in innovative and fascinating ways. All of these projects have changed the way we at the Museum have viewed the amps in our collection – it’s been an amazing journey for us all.

Three of the projects we came across have been captured on film for the Museum’s collection, and are now online via the Museum’s YouTube channel for you to enjoy. They are also featured on the blog as individual posts: Undergrounding London; Orchard Hill College; and ThinkQuest Japan.

What do you use the Tube map for? Share your stories here!