London Transport Museum | London City Tour (2/5)
If you know what I do for a living (check About), then you will understand why this place appealed to me but most importantly, it was an eye opener to how much more work is required for Nigeria and Africa at large to reach its expected standard of transportation.
The London Transport Museum is located in the heart of Covent Garden. I arrived 9AM in the morning and paid £17.50 for the access ticket. The good news though is that the ticket is valid for one year, so you or anyone else can visit as much as possible within 12 months 'for free'.
The museum showcases the evolution of transportation in London, from the 18th century traditions to the modern form of transport. I was extremely impressed with the way I was whisked by the elevator to the second floor and transported back to 1800, with displays of the origin of various forms of transport.
One of my many highlights include the world’s first underground steam powered train and a wooden Metropolitan Railway coach (later converted to electricity). The display builds up to the building of the first passenger railway from London Bridge to Greenwich in 1833.
The museum is extremely interactive and even allows you step aboard real-like buses and trains.
I also saw Victorian horse buses by the then London General Omnibus Company and I was taken aback by the stiff character of the government and the railway entrepreneurs. I understand they ruthlessly expanded the railways even when it meant dispossessing people of their properties. I guess this is what Nigeria needs but within the confine of Equator Principle of-course. We just need to develop this country and get the job done!.
If you are a design lover or/and transport enthusiasts, you will appreciate the designs which showcase pioneering advertising posters and artworks. I saw Harry Beck’s original artwork for his groundbreaking London underground (tube) map and Frank Pick's development of the world-famous roundel transport logo.
"Frank Pick was the man responsible for rolling out the London underground brand and giving each line its own character and ensuring the emblematic bar and circle logo became an intrinsic part of London's visual identity" - Timeout.
The iconic red London bus and black cabs were displayed. I saw a range of bus artefacts that showcased the upheaval that took place in the capital city in particular, including a B-type bus.
The End, but I leave us with a question - "what is your vision for public transport" in Nigeria?
Final thoughts on touring London Transport Museum
To reflect, after a trip, is the ultimate gift you can give yourself. The memories created and the new perception to infrastructure development will be helpful to me forever!.