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Oct 21

3 New Shared Learning Projects – find out more

U3A SLP at the British Postal Museu

British Postal Museum & Archive, Fenton House and Bethlem Hospital

The BPMA is opening a new museum in 2016. In this exciting venue we want to tell the fascinating stories of the hidden heroes and heroines who worked for the postal service.

The aim of this project is to conduct research to find out real people’s stories. Your research will help the BPMA and visitors to understand the remarkable contribution made by individual workers to the Post Office.  The research will also be used by costumed actors to bring these people to life in the new museum.


Fenton House is a 17th-century merchant’s house in Hampstead in North London which belongs to the National Trust, bequeathed to them in 1952 by Lady Binning, its last resident.  Since then other collectors have made significant donations to the house.  The project will research the history of 4 connoisseurs (George Salting and his niece Lady Binning, as well as Major George Henry George Benton Fletcher and Peter Barkworth) who in the late 19th & 20th century donated their collections of ceramics, musical instruments and pictures to the house. In particular Fenton House would like to know more about what led these connoisseurs to start collecting and how they made decisions when refining their collections. In some cases we know the collections were split and bequeathed to different organisations, so we would like to know more about why National Trust and Fenton House were chosen, what expectation the donor had of the National Trust and what happened to their other items.

Bethlem Flyer – Table formatfinal

Bethlem Royal Hospital, the original Bedlam, has its own archives and museum telling the stories of the staff and patients who have been associated with the hospital over its 750 year history.  We hold the archive of the hospital, with documents going back to the 12th century.  It includes patient and staff records, photographs and administrative records.  We also have an extensive art collection of nearly 1000 pieces.  Much of our collections can be viewed online at  Bethlem Archives and Museum is situated within the grounds of Bethlem Royal Hospital and is moving to a brand new display area on site next year.
We have an extensive collection of items and have already chosen a long list of artefacts for likely inclusion in the new museum. We need your help to make further progress. U3A members will be able to select various items for research in order to produce captions and guides. The information we display in the museum should come from verifiable sources. Detective skills will be useful.

To find out more and apply to take part click  on the links above