The Bath Postal Museum has closed its doors after 44 years — just months after the death of its founder.

The museum, which was located in the basement of the old post office, is now in the process of negotiating the passing on of its collection to other museums who can keep its artefacts available for the public.

Audrey Swindells MBE, who co-founded the museum with husband Harold in 1979, passed away in June this year, at the age of 95.

Bath and North East Somerset Council, which owns the premises, have provided assistance to cover the museum’s rent from November, and to find a space for the museum to store its collection while staff work on passing it on.

The many artefacts in the museum’s collection include the largest collection of salvaged mail collected by Bath Mayor and postmaster Ralph Allen, a cross-written letter by Jane Austen, and a wall of in-wall postboxes.

Bath has played a key role in the development of the postal service. Postal carriages were revolutionised by Bath Mayor and MP John Palmer in the 1780s and the first British stamp was mailed from Bath, franked 2 May 1840.

John Wimperis, LDRS