This is a sponsored article on behalf of London Transport Museum.
What does it take to preserve London's transport history? Find out at a massive storage facility that houses over 320,000 objects from one of the capital's most fascinating museums.
This is London Transport Museum's Depot in Acton: a treasure trove of historic tube trains, buses, signs, maps and more. It's usually off-limits to the public but does open its doors a handful of times each year. For the final Open Days of 2022, you'll have a unique chance to discover exactly how a collection store of this size is kept running smoothly.
Depot Unlocked Open Days take place from Thursday 22 September to Sunday 25 September. Over the course of this four-day extravaganza, London Transport Museum's curatorial team will share their stories. From London's first red Routemaster bus to vintage station posters to rare tube prototypes, these folks are responsible for the care of collection objects of all shapes and sizes.
Hear from Senior Curator Georgia Morley about the National Lottery Heritage Fund-supported project to research and protect the museum's collection of moquettes, the zanily-patterned woollen upholstery on bus and tube seats (22 September).
Discover how Stephen Umpleby, conservator with Artefacts Conservation Services, restores artefacts to their former glory (22 September). And learn how contemporary projects like the Elizabeth line are being recorded for future generations with Documentary Curator Rosamund Lily West (25 September).
On 23 and 24 September, you'll have the chance to learn all about the Depot's evolution from working repair centre to the incredible hub of care, learning and outreach that it is today, at a talk led by London Transport Museum Director Sam Mullins, OBE.
Then there's a special 'Hack the Collection' lecture on the final two Open Days, to help you get the most out of both the Depot and the transport network itself. You'll leave knowing how to tell, at a glance, which architect designed a particular tube station, and much more besides.
On top of all these fascinating talks, there are tours of the bus and train sheds, and the Depot's popular miniature railway is open on the Saturday and Sunday. Plus, you'll have the chance to chat with the volunteers helping to restore the museum's glorious 1930s Q stock cars — who knows, maybe it'll inspire you to get involved yourself?
Oh, and don't forget to the Depot shop while you're here for exclusive gifts and souvenirs. Highlights include moquette-patterned clothing and homeware, framed posters, limited edition prints, and authentic Underground signs.
Timed tickets for London Transport Museum Depot must be bought online in advance. Remember, these are the last Open Days of the year, so do book early if you're keen to visit in 2022. Adult tickets cost £15, children's cost £7.50, and under fours go free.
Live in Ealing, Hounslow or Hillingdon? You could save £5 on adult tickets and £2.50 on child tickets.
Depot Unlocked Open Days. Thursday 22 September to Sunday 25 September at London Transport Museum Depot. Book now.