Monday, September 7, 2015

Post Boxes

British post boxes are one of the most iconic symbol in the country, being recognised worldwide, featuring in any advertisement about Britain. Post boxes were introduced by Anthony Trollope, who worked in the 1850s as a Surveyor’s Clerk for the Post Office. He was later known for being a famous novelist. Part of his duties involved him travelling to Europe where he saw road-side letter boxes in France and Belgium. He proposed the introduction of similar boxes to Britain. In 1853 a trial was agreed for the idea on the Channel Islands. Three cast-iron pillar boxes were cast and installed, as atrial, on the island of Jersey. Later that same year, a further six were introduced on Guernsey.

The first trial was considered a success and boxes began appearing on the British mainland from 1853. No standard pattern was followed, resulting in a varied style, due to the fact that the design, manufacture and erection of boxes was the responsibility of local surveyors.

The earliest boxes on Jersey were red, whilst green was introduced after 1859. Green was not too obstructive in the landscapes, in the mid-19th century; however, this produced complaints, since people were having difficulty finding them. The Post Office changed the colour to brown; however, red was introduced in 1874, taking 10 years to repaint all the post boxes. In the 1930s special boxes were introduced for posting airmail letters, painted blue. Nevertheless, the blue post boxes were repainted red in 1938. In 2012 post boxes in the home towns of Great Britain’s London 2012 Olympic Games gold medal winners were painted gold.

As is evident, through the pictures here, post boxes are not just the red pillar ones. We also find wall post boxes, adding to the continued variety of post boxes and the tradition of post boxes in Great Britain. 

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