Discover London transport’s pioneering women this February Half Term
Saturday 10 February – Sunday 18 February 2024
Families visiting London Transport Museum in Covent Garden this February Half Term (Saturday 10 February to Sunday 18 February) can discover the stories of pioneering women who paved the way for others in transport and engineering jobs in London.
In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, women’s roles in public transport were very limited. Wartime employment brought new opportunities and gradually women took on jobs as bus conductors (known as ‘clippies’), station-women, and canteen assistants. This year marks the 50th anniversary of London Transport first recruiting women as bus drivers in 1974, which would be followed by the recruitment of women as Tube train drivers in 1978.
A line-up of fun half term activities will celebrate the women drivers, conductors, mechanics, engineers, designers, and artists who have kept London’s transport moving for over a century. These transport heroines include Helen Clifford, who qualified as London Transport’s first woman bus mechanic in 1984 and Susan Atyeo, the first signal woman to join in 1979. Visitors can enjoy a self-guided trail around the museum galleries, craft sessions, zine-making workshops, and guided tours of the new Global Poster Gallery, all inspired by these women and their stories.
Portrait shot of Helen Clifford, London Transport’s first woman bus engineer, by J A Ballard, 17 Jul 1986 © TfL from London Transport Museum
February Half Term Activities at London Transport Museum
‘Design a Sign’ Self-Guided Family Trail
(Daily) Suitable for children aged 5+
Margaret Calvert is a designer who began creating signs for the UK’s roads and railways in the 1950s, helping people navigate to their destinations. Now it’s your turn. Explore the Museum’s galleries to spot as many signs as you can, old and new, and take inspiration to design your own transport sign.
Transport Heroine Zine-Making Workshop
(Weekdays; Sessions last 45 minutes) Suitable for children aged 7+
Discover the stories of nine women who shaped London’s transport network as we know and love it today, including Helen Clifford, who became London Transport’s first woman bus mechanic in 1984, Susan Atyeo, the first signal woman to join London Transport in 1979, and Margaret Okwanga who joined as a Catering Supervisor in the 1970s. In this hands-on workshop, children can create a zine (mini magazine) all about their chosen transport heroine. Take your zine home to share their story with your friends and family or add it to a display in the Museum.
‘Dare to Dream’ – Global Poster Gallery family-friendly guided tours and crafts
(Daily) Suitable for children aged 4+
Join a guided tour of the Museum’s new Global Poster Gallery with Simran, a puppet character from one of the posters on display by contemporary artist Esther Cox. Discover other great female artists featured in the How to Make a Poster exhibition, and how they portrayed London. Learn about influential women like Dora M. Batty, who began designing posters for the Underground in 1921 and embroiderer and designer Lilian Dring who produced posters from the 1930s. After the tour, children can get crafty creating a wheel of their favorite things about the Capital.
Families can also hop aboard historic buses and Tube trains, learn to ‘drive’ an Elizabeth line train in the ‘Future Engineers’ gallery, and enjoy the All Aboard play zones, perfect for little explorers!
Kids go free! Adult tickets to London Transport Museum include free return entry for a whole year. Concession tickets are also available. Book in advance online HERE