Temporary Exhibitions

A Postcard From London's Canals

What's On

We offer a changing programme of temporary exhibitions. There are usually two or three exhibitions per year on varied subjects relating to canals and the ice trade. In addition we occasionally host art installations or other short-term displays.

A Postcard from London's Canals

Scenic views of past days

Until late 2018. Finishing date to be announced.

From the early 20th Century, postcards were popular for short messages. Few people had access to a telephone and an efficient postal service was used by everyone for communications. For short messages a picture postcard was ideal and many were produced depicting the canals and rivers of London. The museum's collection includes around 50 original cards, most of which are shown in the exhibition in digital form.

The cards naturally show pretty scenes. If there is a message here, it is that the canals have long been regarded as attractive features of the urban landscape and the images of leisure use also tell us that recreation on the waterways is not entirely recent. Some of the scenes are of long-gone features such as a rare and grainy image of Cumberland Market, alongside the long-lost Cumberland Basin, near Euston Station. Others are of scenes that have changed rather less.