From April to September, a new exhibition from The British Postal Museum & Archive celebrating the work of Isambard Kingdom Brunel toured throughout his ‘empire’ in the South West. It paid tribute to the incredible impact that Brunel had on the postal service and advancing mass communication. His Great Western Railway and transatlantic ships were vital to the improvement of the postal service, speeding the mail over land and seas.
Brunel Speeding the Mail was a graphic exhibition which looked at four major areas of work: his early career and the Thames Tunnel, the Great Western Railway, the Great Ships and the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Each theme was illustrated with stamp artwork commissioned by Royal Mail from 1969 to the present day. Although some of the images would have been familiar as they have been printed as stamps, many were proposed, previously unseen designs.
The exhibition was launched at Spring Stampex in The Business Design Centre, London, on Wednesday 22 February and later toured throughout venues in the South West, starting in Plymouth Library and moving to Bristol, Saltash, Porthcurno, Newton Abbot, Torquay, Exeter, Tiverton, Didcot, Swindon, Weston Super Mare and finally Plymouth Museum.
Table showing visitor numbers