Tag 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.

We Love Steam!


A look back at the April Depot Open Weekend

As part of the Museum’s celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the London Underground, London Transport Museum opened its Depot in Acton for an extended Depot Open Week in April. Throughout the week we offered a series of special workshops which gave members of the public the opportunity to see more of the Museum’s transport collections and learn a new skill based on the heritage of the newly restored Carriage No. 353. The workshops were extremely popular and included vehicle photography, a Cab-it day, textile design and creative writing.

On the Saturday we opened the doors for our annual Depot Open Weekend with a series of activities designed around the theme of ‘We Love Steam’. Undeterred by the inclement weather, long queues formed out of the Depot and onto Gunnersbury Lane on what was set to become the busiest ever public opening of the Museum the team had ever experienced.


Alongside opportunities to stand on the footplate of the recently restored Met Locomotive  No. 1 which was in light steam, visitors were encouraged to see for themselves the opulent interior of the newly restored Carriage No. 353 on show in all its gold leaf glory, and wonder what it must have been like to travel First Class on the Victorian Underground. Volunteers from the London Transport Museum Friends, our partnership funders for the project were on hand to reveal the rich history of the oldest known surviving Metropolitan Railway carriage and tell the story of its recently completed restoration.

Also in attendance were staff and volunteers of the Ffestiniog Railway, restorers of Carriage No. 353 who had transported the Welsh Highland Railway locomotive  Prince from North Wales as part of their own celebrations of the 150th anniversary of narrow gauge railway. Long queues formed all day for the opportunity to stand on the footplate of Met 1, look around Carriage No. 353 and to take part in short rides on Prince. We recorded the highest ever turnout for a Depot Open Weekend and welcomed over 5,800 visitors smashing all previous attendance figures.

The weekend’s other activities included rides the ever-popular Acton Miniature Railway, collections tours and talks on Carriage No. 353’s history and recent restoration delivered by the Project Curator Tim Shields. The Museum’s restored train also provided the inspiration for our programme of family activities. Younger visitors were given the opportunity to create their own model steam train and decorate a Victorian lady or gentleman who might have travelled on Carriage No. 353 in the 19th Century.

On the Sunday, we were delighted to welcome Wesley Kerr, the Chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s London Committee who surveyed the recent restoration of the carriage, boarded the footplate of Met 1 and enjoyed rides on both Prince and the Acton Miniature Railway. The next Depot Open Week takes place in October.


Young Consultants take over Poster Parade

We were given the opportunity to help create and present the Poster Parade as part of the Mind the Map exhibition, with the support of curators Michelle Brown and Anna Renton. The Poster Parade works alongside the exhibition to give visitors a further insight into the museum’s collection. We chose to use the Poster Parade to challenge the conventional ideas of ‘What is a map?’

We began to create our first Poster Parade in May 2012. We were given a selection of 150 posters and through a lot of discussion and voting, we picked our final top 20 posters! The posters reflect the diversity of ideas and perspectives on mapping journeys. They all pushed boundaries in conveying the meaning of a map. The themes we chose to devise the Poster Parade were; colour, progression of transport, journeys into the countryside and the skills of design.

After making our selection we went to the London Transport Depot in Acton and pulled out the actual posters. We also took part in the process of putting the posters up onto display which was really nice seeing the outcome of all our hard work. This was on display between May and July 2012.

What is a Map?

We currently have a new Poster Parade on display is based on the ‘Olympics’. We helped pull out the posters from the Acton Depot which is always a fun process. The ‘Olympics’ Poster Parade can be found on the second floor at the museum; come down and have a look!

We recently selected posters for the ‘North, East, South, and West’ Poster Parade. As it was our second time, going through the process was a lot quicker as we knew what we were looking for. This poster parade looks at all different areas within London; combing old and new designs.

This Poster Parade will be on display from 14 September 2012 Keep a look out!

We would like to thank Michelle and Anna for being so helpful whilst teaching us the procedures and also for the opportunity to take part. It was an amazing experience and we look forward to our forthcoming work for the Poster 150 exhibition.


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!


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


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