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By Lorna Hogger on

Moving Waterloo Station

In anticipation of our new gallery space, we faced the challenge of moving on of the larger paintings from our collection.

Some of you may know that in 2011 the NRM will be opening a dedicated Art Gallery space within the museum. This will showcase a programme of changing exhibitions featuring works from our own art collection as well as railway-inspired artworks from across the world.

Below are some photos of us moving the extremely large Terence Cuneo painting, Waterloo Station, out of the ‘lean-to’ next to Station Hall, which is where the Art Gallery will eventually be situated (it previously housed SECR D class 737 and Pullman “Topaz”).

This was a tricky manoeuvre given the size of the work, and as you can see it took quite a number of people to move it.

NRM staff move a large painting by Terence Cuneo through Station Hall



The painting, made in 1967, was commissioned by the Science Museum and was painted by Cuneo in situ in the museum. The painting shows a perspective view of the concourse of Waterloo Station, London, as seen from the first floor British Rail Southern Region Board Room windows, and features the artist, his wife and daughter, his assistant, various staff of the Science Museum – including the then Director – and even a couple of politicians. Cuneo has depicted the same view point as the iconic posters Waterloo Station – Peace and Waterloo Station – War by Helen McKie, of 1948.

This is one of those paintings that the more time you spend looking at it the more you see. Harold Wilson being barked at by a bulldog, Cuneo’s trademark mouse perched atop a Johnnie Walker advertisement, the artist carrying his easel, the huge departures board which is now in the NRM collection…

The painting has now been re-hung in the Station Hall and will remain on display while the works are being carried out for the new Art Gallery.

7 comments on “Moving Waterloo Station

  1. Hi, The Art Gallery will be opening Summer 2011, please keep an eye out on the website for the exact date nearer the time. I’ll also try and keep readers updated via the blog, so keep reading…

    1. I was at the Science Museum in London yesterday with my grandson and saw that the Waterloo Station painting had been moved. I worked at the Science Museum in the 1960’s on the ‘new’ Land Transport Gallery and am included in the painting as I believe my ‘fiance’ now my husband is also. He worked in the workshops of the Museum at the time. I remember Harold Wilson and others in the painting including Colonel Simmons who was Keeper of the Gallery. Can you tell me please when you plan to have it on display in York as I would love to bring my little grandson to see it. Pam Amos

      1. Hi Pam, how exciting that you’re in Cuneo’s iconic painting, that’s a great fact to be able to share with your grandson. Waterloo Station was moved to the National Railway Museum in 2007 and has been on display ever since. It is currently displayed in the Station Hall, although planned works mean that the area is closed from 3 Sept to 20 Oct 2012 (TBC). I hope that you’ll be able to come and see the painting once the Station Hall reopens.

        1. Hi Pam, Some years ago you posted the above comment about your portrait in Cuneo’s Waterloo painting. I hope you made it to the museum to see it. We are revisiting the interpretation and I wonder if you could tell me where you and your husband are in the painting? We’d love to get in touch and learn more. Best, Lorna

        2. Colonel Simmons was my dad – went to see him in york and he’s in storage pending a new building. Apparently the painting was ripped. Lets hope not through my dad.!

  2. Hello

    Has the museum ever thought of using an old sleepr train as a hostel?

    Also I often wondered whether it would be practical to have exhibits on historic carriages that could be used for mobile exhibitions around the UK’s stations?

    all the best


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