Two Ludlows and a Lamp Box

While out this weekend, I happened across some unusual postboxes. I used to go out specifically to find rare postboxes, but I’ve enough to occupy myself these days and have retired that hobby. The first unusual postbox I found was the below example of a George VI lamp box that would have been cast sometime during the period of his reign, 1936 to 1952. Lamp … Continue reading Two Ludlows and a Lamp Box

Gold Post Boxes: Commemorating Britain’s Sporting Heroes

British Olympic gold medal winners in 2012 got more than the gold medals that defined them as elite sportsmen and women. The gold medal winners for London 2012 were also commemorated with gold painted post boxes in their hometowns and a set of stamps. I bought two sets of stamps as mementoes of the historic games: those of Sir Andy Murray, who won his gold … Continue reading Gold Post Boxes: Commemorating Britain’s Sporting Heroes

Royal Ciphers on Postboxes: a Brief Guide

Britain got her first post boxes during the 1850s. Apart from a short period when we posted mail in ‘anonymous’ post boxes, so called as they did not carry a royal cipher, (sometimes spelled cypher), the Post Office quickly settled on using the cipher of the reigning monarch on all letter boxes. Below left is the VR cipher that is found on Victorian pillar boxes, … Continue reading Royal Ciphers on Postboxes: a Brief Guide

The Victorian Fluted Pillar Box in England

On a day out in Windsor, accompanied by my husband, we came across a Doric fluted Victorian pillar box, situated just over the river Thames at Eton. I stopped to take the obligatory photograph. I was taken with its elegance, which was enhanced by gilding around the cap which highlighted the words ‘Post Office’, the crown and the royal VR (Victoria Regina) cipher. I shared … Continue reading The Victorian Fluted Pillar Box in England

Suffragettes and the Post: Pillar Box Attacks in Edwardian Britain

Emily Wilding Davison’s infamy was guaranteed when she stepped in front of the King’s horse, Anmer, at the 1913 Epsom Derby. Emily, in a long campaign of civil disobedience as a member of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), was a vociferous agitator for equal voting rights with men. In late 1911, she attempted to set fire to the contents of the pillar box … Continue reading Suffragettes and the Post: Pillar Box Attacks in Edwardian Britain

The Hidden History of British Post Boxes

For 160 years we have been posting our mail into pillar, wall and lamp boxes, but how many of us actually look at the box in which we post our mail?  Do we pay attention to the royal ciphers that denote the age of the box?  Or know the impact of momentous historical events that directly affect the letter boxes on our streets?  Post boxes, … Continue reading The Hidden History of British Post Boxes