Last updated 23rd March 2014.
We have a good entry of preserved GPO/P.O. vehicles for our rally at the Milton Keynes Museum on Sunday 27th April 2014 to celebrate the centenary of the first use by the GPO of departmental motor vehicles for postal collections and deliveries. Among the confirmed vehicle entries are Gary Sumner’s Morris-Commercial J 100cf. SLO 234, Gordon Wilson’s later JB 100cf. YLH 449, Martin Maltas is bringing his Dodge TV detector CNJ 423T and Jim and Jennifer Cawte are bringing Ital GTW 231Y. We will have a nice line-up of Morris Minors including Peter Hanby’s rubber-winged Utility PGO 296 as well as a comprehensive line-up of two-wheelers made up of Bantams, a Puch moped, a Peugeot Ludix and an Oxygen electric scooter.
We are using this event to commemorate the start of GPO official mail vehicle services with the introduction from May 1914 of twenty postal Motor Cycle Combinations with a capacity of 18cf. and were placed into service to replace postmen on horseback. We have the use of several large areas of level ground to stage the event, and visitors will have free access to the whole of the museum site including the farmhouse and school, reconstructed shops and workshops and the new Transport Hall. There will be stalls, displays of memorabilia, external tools and equipment, exchange equipment and telephone apparatus, and a presentation on the centenary and videos to be shown in the Wolverton railway works boardroom. Royal Mail and BT have confirmed their support for this event and we expect to have three new mailvans, a Doblò Utility and the battery-electric 1-tonne Utility NK11 DVW. The museum is one of the BT Connected Earth partners and the collection includes the LCS truck and tool cart trailer, Bedford KM pole unit, and the Ford Transit Roadphone transferred from BT. The new Telecommunications Gallery will be newly opened, housing a large number of historic and interesting telephones from 1900 to the present day, many being connected through the various switchboards and exchanges that also form part of the display, and visitors can make calls to each other. The exhibits includes a working example of an A/B pre-decimal coin box from a phone kiosk, and a Strowger demonstration unit, where visitors can see and hear a call being made through an electro-mechanical exchange. There is also a large collection of sundry items such as photographs, diagrams, signs, cables, clocks, insulators and batteries.
The timetable for the day is as follows:
The Milton Keynes Museum entrance is in McDonnell Drive, MK12 5EL. The Museum lies near the A5 trunk road which skirts the edge of Central Milton Keynes and is easy to find.
Travelling from the Midlands by road, the A5 runs parallel to the M1, but diverges near Northampton. From the M1, turn off at Junction 15, turning right along the A508 which passes through Roade. Follow this road for about 8 miles until reaching a rounabout at the junction with the A5. Turn immediately left along this dual carriageway; then turn off at the first junction to the roundabout and take the first exit. Turn right at the next roundabout and follow the museum signs to McConnell Drive which is on the left.
From the South either follow the A5 from Junction 9 of the M1 passing through Dunstable and Hockliffe, or travel to Junction 14. From Junction 9 and after passing through Hockliffe keep on the A5, over another roundabout until reaching a dual carriageway section. Continue along the dual carriageway to the next roundabout and take the third exit which is still the A5 dual carriageway. Take the 4th turning on the left, up the slip road to the roundabout and take the 4th exit and follow the Museum signs to McConnell Drive.
From the M1 turn off at Junction 14 and follow the signs to Central Milton Keynes along the A509 Portway. Follow this road to passing over four roundabouts, then turn right at the fifth along V8 Marlborough Street. Pass over one roundabout and turn left onto the A422 H3 Monks Way. Follow this road to the A5; take the 5th exit and follow the Museum signs to McConnell Drive.
From the west approach via the A422 from Buckingham to the Old Stratford roundabout on the A5 taking the third exit onto the dual carriageway; taking the first exit to the roundabout and turning immediately left. Follow the museum signs to McConnell Drive.
From the east approach via the A421 or A422. When approaching via the A421, which is Standing Way, travel into Milton Keynes. Turn right at the second of two roundabouts, which are close together, along the B4034 or V8 Marlborough Street. Travel northward until reaching the A422 or H3 Monks Way and turn left at this roundabout. Follow this road to the A5; take the 5th exit and follow the Museum signs to McConnell Drive.
When travelling by train, London Midland stops at both Milton Keynes Central and Wolverton; whilst many Virgin Trains from London, Wolverhampton and Preston stop at Milton Keynes Central only. There is an Arriva bus service (5A) from Central Milton Keynes to Stacey Bushes Local Centre. Catch it from Milton Keynes Central station stop Z3 at 10.27 am then at 52 and 22 minutes past each hour. From Stacey Bushes the museum is a 10 minute walk via a red way opposite the Post Box, walking eastward under the main road and turning right following the museum signs. The walk from Wolverton railway station is 20 minutes. From the station walk along the Stratford Road westward. Turn right into Creed Street, then almost immediately left and right into McConnell Drive around a supermarket. (More information and a map at www.arrivabus.co.uk/serviceInformation.aspx?id=12612)
We will also be attending the new event at Gaydon – the Classic Van & Pick Up event – on Sunday 10th August 2014.
The Timsgarry to Stornoway postbus is scheduled to cease operation in spring 2014.