Friday, 8 January 2010

Liverpudlian postbox

Browsing through some old photos, I came across this fine postbox, a Liverpool 'special'. Now sat on Albert Dock, it was originally sited in Everton where it saw 115 years of service. It boasts an explanatory plaque below the collection times: these boxes were cast in 1863 and were specially sized to deal with areas of heavier post.

Cochrane & Co, the Dudley company who cast this postbox, were doing a lot of similar work for the Post Office at this time. They also cast the hexagonal boxes designed by J W Penfold and used between 1866 and 1879. One of Ireland's oldest post boxes - cylindrical, with its slot on top - was a Cochrane. You can even see two of their cylindrical boxes of 1861 in Mauritius!


Hels said...

I had never taken much notice of letter boxes in the past. But everything has a history, even letter boxes.

Anthony Trollope, my all time favourite writer, was a senior Post Office official who set up the first iron pillar box in 1852 in Jersey. Following this successful experiment, the first letter box soon appeared on the mainland. By the end of the century, there were tens of thousands throughout Britain, and people could never remember a time when they did NOT exist.

Your model is more beautiful than the original design, and the colour was firmly red by then.

thanks for another slither of history that I had no idea about,
Art and Architecture, mainly

Minnie said...

Thank you for revealing yet another aspect of life that would otherwise remain unnoticed, Caroline. In Ireland all the post boxes are painted green ... at first sight, it's rather startling to the eye - why aren't they that lovely, rich red (obvious rhetorical question)?!

Philip Wilkinson said...

Marvellous to see this old favourite. There are several hexagonal Penfold boxes in Cheltenham, not far from where I live, and I will probably blog about them one of these days.

(By the way, if you like Dorling Kindersley books, have a look at my response to your comment (for which many thanks) over at English Buildings.)

CarolineLD said...

I'd love to see your hexagonal boxes - I have a model one (which doubles as a handy paperclip holder) on my desk as I write!