Since it’s #MuseumWeek, I’ve been digging through my own archives of museum visits — and I realised I had somehow forgotten to post about the gem of a transport themed Aladdin’s cave that is the Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum.
It’s one of the strangest, but most charming, museums imaginable — but it’s also terribly hard to find. My partner in crime and our GPS went to several locations in Walthamstow before a kids cricket team pointed us in the right direction. Once we found it, we were shocked at some of the incredible contents. Most of the pictures on here are mine but if they are watermarked with Paul Vincent, they are from my photographic buddy @EnjoytheViewEu — check out his full collection of pictures at EnjoytheView.Eu
The museum is very transport and innovation themed, but isn’t really 100% put together as it desperately needs funding. In spite of that, there are some wonderful chunks of history here — and most of them are in the parking lot!
Aged and dated train stock sit outside the building, as do a plethora of buses — and a rather well preserved Victoria line train, recently taken out of service with the line upgrade. Half of the train is as it was on its last day of service, but they are aiming to restore the other half as it was on its first day of service – a very ambitious challenge.
This tube carriage is regularly used as a pop-up restaurant, which I would love to visit someday!
Inside objects are piled on top of each other and compete for your attention, but here are some highlights – in particular, this wooden sign! If I understand correctly, on the date of the official opening of the Victoria line one of these was hung on the front of each of the first trains. The museum happens to have one of these signs, and the other one is in the London Transport Museum’s Acton Depot.
One of the most lovely things about this odd museum is the strong local flavour — it’s transport and industry themed, but the pieces in the collection all link lovingly back to the East London Area (hence such a strong focus on the Walthamstow terminating Victoria line.) Theres a very dusty gift shop, but it’s well stocked with tube signage overflow and we take home a large number of carriage signage from the now-defunct East London line for a shockingly low price.
Find out more about the museum and how to visit here.