Category Archives: Communities

Project 353 Community Learning Programme – An Exciting New Way of Working

In response to feedback from community organisations, Project 353 has introduced a new way of working with our Community Learning Partners – the two day model.

This model allows more flexibility for Community Partners and Participants, fitting in with the activities or groups they already support without putting pressure on their capacity. As with our longer term learning opportunities, all of the projects are inspired by the history & restoration of Metropolitan Railway Jubilee carriage No. 353 and our volunteers will create craft or artistic pieces related to it. The volunteers also have the opportunity to undertake a relevant piece of accredited learning through the National Open College Network or Arts Award.

These projects will be mainly focussed on communities in west London who are under-represented in museums and heritage. Their projects will take place over the summer and will include activities such as story-telling and collecting, mural making and digital arts.

Once all of the two-day projects are complete, the pieces will be curated into a joint community exhibition celebrating their achievements and will tour each of their local areas – so watch this space for further details of both the projects as they begin and to see the work exhibited!

Project 353 Artwork being created by young learners
Project 353 Artwork being created by young learners

Project 353 Community Learning Programme – Accredited Learning

A key objective of Project 353’s Community Learning Programme is the opportunity for group participants to work towards a piece of accredited learning, documenting what they have achieved through their involvement with a 353 community project.

We have supported our volunteers to work towards one of three types of accreditation: The National Open College Network (NOCN) Certificate in Accessing Travel & Transport, The National Open College Network (NOCN) Certificate in Discovering Local History or the Arts Award at Bronze Level.

NOCN Travel & Transport Portfolio

The NOCN Certificate in Accessing Travel & Transport supports learners to understand more about the transport network, to feel confident in route and journey planning and to understand how to travel safely both within Transport for London’s modes and beyond

The NOCN Certificate in Discovering Local History supports learners to discover how local or national events in history – such as the opening of the London Underground 150 years ago – impacted the communities in their local area and to share this knowledge with others.

The Arts Award at Bronze Level is for learners aged 16-25 and supports them to develop a creative skill, share this skill with others and develop confidence in responding to artistic or cultural exhibitions and communicating about cultural, heritage or artistic pieces.

Project 353’s mix of artistic, cultural and historical learning means learners can choose as a group which option to take and the project is moulded to suit their aspirations.

While some learners choose not to undertake accreditation, those that do have found it helps them to articulate what they have achieved to those around them such as teachers, social workers or future employers.

On top of this, learners have expressed a real sense of pride, confidence and ownership in the programme by having their involvement formally recognised.

A Happy Museum? Of Course!

Museums are not just about their contents, important though the exhibits are. It’s increasingly recognised that museums have an important part to play in the well-being of people generally, and not just that of their normal visitors. London Transport Museum keenly supports this view and is working to develop its services in less conventional ways. Indeed its very successful volunteer programme is an excellent example of an activity that benefits both the museum and the individual.

Hence the “Happy Museum”: a programme that has been developed with a number of other museums (such as the Godalming Museum and the Story Museum, Oxford) to explore the opportunity for increased sustainability through wider and deeper engagement with all potential audiences. Funding for the “Happy Museum” has been provided by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Arts Council England, amongst others. One result of LTM’s engagement with the “Happy Museum” has been a project with St. Mungo’s, the homelessness charity, aiming to help excluded people engage positively with society.

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A number of potential volunteers for the project were identified by St. Mungo’s, and they met with LTM staff at an Open Day in late 2012. As a result a group of St Mungo’s clients have been engaged in voluntary work at the museum, working closely with the curators. I met Chris Daniels at the Acton Depot one day recently, where he was busy cleaning a train of 1938 tube stock inside and out in preparation for the Acton Open Weekend. Chris also volunteers with St Mungo’s itself, and has been busy gardening; he confided in me that he was very glad to be working indoors on this particular (very cold) day. So was I!

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Chris told me that he had enjoyed his 3 months volunteering with LTM, and had been involved in bus cleaning as well for the open weekend.  Although his working life had been in the water industry, he has always liked transport. In his own words, “I’ve enjoyed working here as volunteering people are family. It helps my state of mind, and it’s nice to meet other people.” A sentiment that I think many volunteers would echo.

Dave Olney, Volunteer

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.