While exploring the streets of Bath, we discovered another hidden gem; the Postal Museum. Founded in 1779 by Harold and Audrey Swindells in the cellar of their home, it was moved into Bath's main Post Office in 1985. The first recorded postal stamp - the Black Penny - was used here on May 2, 1840. Museum exhibits trace the history of post systems from 2000 BC up to the present day, including the ever changing design of the British Postal Boxes. One of the exhibits that we found fascinating was the priority given to the Royal Mail Coaches (of which there are several scale models) on British roads. Horns were used to signal the approach of the mail coaches, indicating which side of the road it was on. Everyone had to clear out of the way to let it through. The museum has even created a replica of a Victorian Post Office. Biographies of key figures in the evolution of Bath's postal system are spread throughout the museum. In addition, there are interactive exhibits for children. We absolutely love finding these little, out-of-the-way, exhibits that are not usually on the list of most tourists' attractions.
Just inside the entrance to Bath's main post office are stairs leading the to Postal Museum.
A replica of a Victorian era Post Office is one of the exhibits.
The sorting mail slots are still used today.
The design of British mail boxes is ever changing...
The first recorded Postal Stamp was the Black Penny, used here on May 2, 1840.
Scale model of a Royal Mail Coach, which, by convention, had priority on all British roads.
As the sign indicates, this is a postcard marking the first 100 mile airmail flight from Bath to London.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.