Golden Valley Study Group
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The History of the British Roadside Letter Box.

Summary points from the talk given by Simon Vaughan-Winter
on 12 November 2009.
For more information see the Letter Box Study Group website
Photos by Steve Edwards
          Edward VII wall box
                at Vowchurch
Traditional pillar box,
Broad St, Hereford
After the introduction of the universal “Penny Post” in 1840, letters still had to be taken to or collected from receiving offices. The first post box was set up in Guernsey in 1853, and they rapidly spread throughout the country using a variety of designs. The red colour came into use later. An astonishing variety of styles and sizes may still be found including the traditional pillar box, lamp boxes (fixed to posts) and “Ludlow boxes” (manufactured by James Ludlow) sunk into walls with a red cast-iron front. The boxes bear a royal cipher for the monarch of the day.  Victorian examples carrying “V R” can still be found, as can ciphers for all the subsequent monarchs, including a few for Edward VIII.

Elizabeth II box
at Dorstone
Victorian box
at Hinton