We joined our readers at this new attraction and rode on its century-old underground
Words Lizzie Frainier
Photos Max Miechowski
It’s quite a snug fit as I clamber into the Mail Rail carriage with our freelance photographer and two others. Hardly a surprise, considering they were originally intended to carry the capital’s post, rather than people.
For more than 75 years, up until 2003, this underground railway network delivered 4m letters a day. Since then, it’s been a secret beneath the streets. That’s until this summer when The Postal Museum
opened in Clerkenwell above the original site and decided to share this piece of history with the public.
The particularly good news is that bookers can hire the large depot space and run rides on the Mail Rail from here as part of their event.
So naturally we found ourselves at the launch party, where The Postal Museum kindly extended the invite to 100 of our readers too.
The blank-canvas space has a real industrial feel with vaulted arches and white-painted brick walls. This evening, it’s fully dressed with moody purple and pink lighting, quirky food installations (edible bubbles; nitro ice-cream) and lively renditions of chart-topping hits from string trio Ember.
But the real buzz in the air comes from the 275 guests eager to be some of the very first to try out the Mail Rail.
Why’s everyone so excited? Event sales and marketing manager Claire Bastin tells us, ‘There may be other venues that have attractions built in, like the London Dungeons, but the difference with Mail Rail is that it’s 100% authentic and it’s got a century of history behind it. It’s completely real.’
I couldn’t agree more. Once bundled into the train, we’re whizzed round the tunnels, stopping occasionally to learn the full story from audio soundbites by one of the original engineers, accompanied by entertaining video projections.
Suddenly, the lights black out and there’s silence. Has there been a first-night hiccup? Will we have to wander past disused trains to find our way out? But then the lights come on, and a recorded voice tells us it’s just part and parcel of the story.
We loved that mini envelopes were clipped onto the glasses of peach cocktails, proving that it’s possible to put your stamp on every aspect of an event
Food installation Lick Me I’m Delicious
You might also be interested to know we've got a list of all the best London museums that you can hire for events here.
To learn more about the venue and to make a booking, head this way