The National Postal Museum was established in 1966, incorporating the 46 volume collection of Victorian philately made by Moses Phillips (1888-1977). It was opened in 1969 in the King Edward Building near St Paul’s Cathedral, but closed in 1998 when the building was sold. The collections were retained and in 2004 the Royal Mail Group set up an independent charitable trust, British Postal Museum & Archives, which was e-named the Postal Museum in 2016 when a new museum opened. The Postal Museum also has a store at Loughton in Essex and is associated with the Museum of the Post Office in the Community at Blists Hill, Ironbridge. The displays at Phoenix Place feature figures from the past that were associated with the postal system, telegram messengers, sorters of letters, and Sir Rowland Hill (1795-1879), who introduced the penny post in 1839, and was also an inventor of printing presses and a director of leading railway companies. An original copy of the novel Ulysses by James Joyce, which was confiscated in the post on the grounds that it was pornographic. There are telegrams sent by passengers from RMS Titantic as she was sinking in 1912. There are also vehicles used by the Royal Mail, many photographic images of the postal services, and large collections of stamps.
The unique feature of the Postal Museum is that visitors can take 20-minute rides over a short section of Mail Rail, the 10.5 km railway that once carried mails between Paddington and Whitechapel, connecting the railway termini for the main lines to west, north and east, and calling at platforms, which visitors are able to see, serving London’s principal sorting office at Mount Pleasant. The line was opened in 1927 and closed in 2003.