Category Archives: Communities

Project 353 Learning – Helen’s Story

helen blog pic

Helen C has lived in Bromley since a very young age, and became involved in London Transport Museum’s Project 353 through a partnership with housing association, Affinity Sutton. The project used the story of the restoration of Metropolitan Jubilee Carriage 353 as inspiration for a creative digital project supporting both digital inclusion and employment skills.

A single mum, Helen is interested in getting back into work now that her children are growing older. As the daughter of a transport enthusiast and someone very interested in history, Helen saw Project 353 as an ideal opportunity to learn more about the museum, improve her skills and to meet new people.

Helen, together with her group, had a tour from museum staff of both the  Covent Garden museum site and the museum depot at Acton, where they learnt all about the history and restoration of the carriage. Back in Bromley, the group were then asked to imagine themselves being given the task of marketing the Underground when it first started, and Helen was involved in producing the presentation and posters that resulted.

Through this contribution Helen was able to develop her computer skills, especially using PowerPoint. She had never used it before getting involved in the project, but became something of an expert in it through producing the content that the group used to develop their thoughts. Posters were a major part of this. Helen also used it to deliver a presentation to the group, for which she received very positive feedback. Helen was proud to exhibit her work to friends, guests and staff from both Affinity Sutton and London Transport Museum, showing off all she had learnt and achieved!

Helen particularly enjoyed the opportunity to visit the two museum sites, and in her own words, the Acton Depot was a “huge find”. She can’t wait to take her father to see it at the next open day, and her eight year-old son, Ben, is hugely jealous that he hasn’t been able to see it yet. However, there is no doubt in Helen’s mind that the icing on the cake was an opportunity to take a ride on Carriage 353 on the 13th January when it was hauled by Metropolitan Railway locomotive number 1 as part of the Underground 150 celebrations. She didn’t take her passenger wristband off for weeks afterwards! Helen loved the whole air of celebration, and was delighted to be part of an event that gave so much enjoyment to so many people.

What of the future? Helen told me that the 353 project “got her going” and “inspired her to get into new things”.  She would dearly like to be a Classroom Assistant, and has now applied for a local vacancy. The skills and approach that she learnt have reinvigorated her self-confidence. What would Helen say to others in a similar situation to herself, considering involvement in a similar project? “It’s a very positive thing to do if you want to grow your confidence, learn, have some new experiences and meet new people from different backgrounds. We weren’t thrown in at the deep end, everything was taken gradually, and it wasn’t in the least bit overwhelming.” She also commented on how supportive the museum staff were.

Probably the last word should also go to Helen: “It gave me a good kick up the bum!”

Designing for the future – 2063

London Transport Museum is running an extremely diverse range of activities in celebration of the Underground’s 150th anniversary. As part of the celebrations, and to complement our upcoming temporary exhibition Poster Art 150 , we recently ran a poster competition in collaboration with the Royal College of Art.

London Underground has a long and very rich history of poster commissioning. For the RCA poster design competition we invited postgraduate vehicle design and visual communications students to reflect on 150 years of Underground promotion whilst also imagining the future of London’s subterranean system. The resulting posters anticipate the Underground’s services and destinations during the 200th anniversary in 2063.

We had some fantastic and incredibly imaginative entries, including promotion of a service that drops you directly to your door, and a transport system where spherical pods carry passengers through an underwater Underground.

Poster designs from the twenty finalists, including the 3 winning entries, are now on display at the Museum. Come take a look!

 

Meet the artists – Saturday 20th October

There’s now less than 10 days left to see our ‘Mind the Map’ exhibition!

Along with an incredible range of maps from our historic collection, the exhibition also includes some fantastic newly commissioned artworks. This includes works by Susan Stockwell and Agnes Poitevin-Navarre, whose artworks were created through contributions from members of the public.

Agnes Poitevin-Navarre asked Londoners for their response to the question ‘Where do you hope to be?’, from which she created her amazing artwork ‘The Land of Hopeful Commuters’.

Susan Stockwell collected used transport tickets from people all over the world from which she created her beautiful artwork ‘Memento’.

Both artists will be in the Museum’s galleries this Saturday 20th October from 3-4pm. Along with seeing their artworks you’ll have the chance to speak to the artists about their approach.

 

 

 

Haiku Workshop for Museums at Night

Through positive feedback from our previous two spoken word events, we took the opportunity to create another workshop for the Museums at Night event on Friday 18 May 2012. This also happened to be the public opening of the exhibition Mind the Map: inspiring art, design and cartography, making it even more exciting.

We worked alongside Dean Atta and Laila Sumpton (professional Spoken Word artists who facilitated our previous workshops) to prepare the activities. We then had the help of two Young Volunteers Ayomide Leshi and Daniel Otubela, from the Journeys Youth Programme, to deliver the workshop.

We decided to run a haiku workshop as it’s a simple and fun way of writing a poem. A haiku is a three lined poem with five syllables in the first and third lines, and seven syllables in the second line.

Here are some examples from the evening:

Everyone thinks queen
I know it’s really for me
Me, Victoria

Victoria Pipe, Victoria

People excited
Tickets, athletes, gold medals
Stratford twenty twelve

Jess, Stratford

Like our Emotional Map, we wanted to invite the public to share the emotions that they associated with different areas on the London Tube map and take it to another level by expressing it through poetry.

Being given the Design Gallery to work in, we thought about the resources we needed and how they would work in the space. We decided to display a Tube map on a large canvas. Visually, this linked directly to our Emotional Map within the Mind the Map exhibition. We then chose luggage tags for people to write on and pins to fix tags to the station on the canvas map.

We read out some haikus that we had found interesting and ended the workshop with a performance of poetry we had created with the Young Volunteers. Amazingly over 130 people participated. We were all really happy with the excellent feedback given and comments were also posted through LTM Twitter.

We really enjoyed the evening and thank you to all who took part!

‘What is a Map’ – poster parade

The Museum’s current poster parade display was curated and installed by our amazing Young Consultants, with input from young people in both the UK and Spain.

The display coincides with the Museum’s ‘Mind the Map: inspiring art, design and cartography’ exhibition. ‘Mind the Map’ features an incredible variety of maps, from those that help you get from A to B through to decorative maps, maps as publicity along with some amazing contemporary artworks that explore notions of ‘personal mapping’ and ‘journeys’. The poster display invites you to consider what a map is and can be and explores the many creative approaches to mapping London, its transport system and passengers’ journeys.

This display features labels written by members of the public. We asked young people to give their personal response to the posters on display. Along with involvement from young people in London, we were also lucky enough to work with the wonderful students from the Colegio Cardenal Spinola school in Spain, whose teacher Antonio Cortés has been using the Museum’s collection as a tool to spark discussion during his English language classes.

Each label features a response that reflects a personal journey or experience, bringing very new and insightful perspectives to the Museum’s collection.

Here’s a sample from people’s amazing contributions:

‘This poster reminds me of those nights where the sky is black and the stars light up and you are with someone you love and tell him to count the stars and you love him as much as there are stars in the sky.’
– Eva López, age 15, Cardenal Spínola School, near Seville, Spain

‘This poster reminds me of my journey and paths I have taken toward a life in performance. The bright lights of the signs welcome you into this surreal world that you never want to leave!’
– Gloria Gaspard, age 20, student and LTM Young Consultant, Highams Park, London

A big thank you to everyone who took part!

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

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!

An Introduction to the Happy Museum Volunteers

London Transport Museum has organised a community volunteer programme called the Happy Museum which aims to create a more inclusive Museum environment. The 7 volunteers working on the Happy Museum programme will develop a Handling Trolley which will be used as part of the museums Mind the Map exhibition.

The Volunteers Perspective
At the start of the project we discussed why we wanted to volunteer and what we wanted to achieve as volunteers. As a group we wanted to meet new people, gain work experience, and learn about the history of transport as well as be able to use Museum resources and work with Museum staff. We wanted to make use of our free time and for our contribution to be recognised. Last but not least we wanted to enjoy our time at London Transport Museum.

What we have done so far as a group is take a tour of both the Acton Depot and the London Transport Museum at Covent Garden. The Museum curators gave us a briefing on what the Handling Trolley is for and its role as an active exhibit. We also had a tour of the library, which will enable us to research and get a better understanding of the collection.
To see more photos from the Happy Museum volunteers see our Flickr set.

Written by James Murphy and Bryan Fulton, Volunteers