Brunel 200 Legacy 'Speeding the Mail' stamp exhibition.
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Brunel 200 Events & Activities Overview > The British Postal Museum & Archive

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Speeding the Mail

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.

Royal Albert Bridge Brunel stamp   Paddington Station Brunel stamp
Clifton Suspension Bridge design Brunel stamp   Box Tunnel Brunel stamp
ss Great Eastern Brunel stamp   Maidenhead Bridge Brunel stamp

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.

The British Postal Museum & Archive exhibition stand.

Table showing visitor numbers

  Date from

  Date to


  Visitor numbers

  1 Mar 06

  18 Mar 06

  Plymouth Libraries


  1 Apr 06

  16 Apr 06

  Bristol Record Office


  26 Apr 06

  30 Apr 06



  1 May 06

  10 May 06

  Porthcurno Telegraph Museum


  11 May 06

  31 May 06

  Newton Abbot Museum


  1 Jun 06

  22 Jun 06

  Torbay Museums, Torquay


  23 Jun 06

  17 Jul 06

  Powderham Castle, Exeter


  1 Aug 06

  18 Aug 06

  Tiverton Museums


  20 Aug 06

  29 Aug 06

  Didcot Railway Centre


  30 Aug 06

  20 Sep 06

  Steam Museum, Swindon


  21 Sep 06

  24 Sep 06

  Winter Gardens, Weston Super Mare