The upshoot refers to the bottom part of the posting aperture that projects internally into the box. Some early boxes had a downshoot and posted mail dropped straight into the body. This was changed to an upshoot design, where mail had to be pushed up before dropping into the box; this was thought to offer… Read More

Vandyke Engineering of Harlow in Essex were the manufacturers of the Type F box, introduced in 1968. These rectangular boxes were constructed of sheet steel. At the time sheet steel was seen as a “modern” material, as opposed to “old fashioned” cast iron. Both single and twin boxes with a shared roof were produced. They… Read More

Wall boxes were introduced in 1857. Pillar boxes (introduced in 1852) had proved to be reliable and popular, everyone wanted their own local post box, but pillar boxes were expensive to produce. For other than city and town locations a cheaper way of providing remote collection facilities was needed and the obvious answer lay in… Read More

After the Air Mail pillar box campaign of 1930-1938, the blue-painted boxes were recovered from the streets. The special double collection times plate holder was removed and replaced by a chunky single holder, the enamel Air Mail aperture flag was also removed (or painted over) and these boxes were then re-used as “ordinary” boxes. Not… Read More

The year of casting first appeared on the large and small First National Standard boxes. The year is cast after the Cochrane & Co maker’s name—and dates from 1859 to 1866 can be found. The next boxes with a date were Type A pillar boxes cast by the Hillsyde Foundry, which can be found dated… Read More

Three prototype zinc wall boxes were produced by Messrs. Phensaul Brothers of Plymouth in 1857 at the request of George Creswell, Surveyor of the Western District of England. They seem to have been put into experimental service in three villages near Plymouth, but were found to be unsuitable. Unfortunately no likeness nor description of a… Read More

To promote the new air mail postal services then available, in 1930 a number of letter boxes were painted blue and equipped with enamel AIR MAIL signage. In 1933 a special Type B (small) Air Mail pillar box was cast. It had a double collection times plate to incorporate air mail information. The scheme was… Read More

The official Royal Mail name for large sheet steel and aluminium boxes erected in large numbers on industrial estates and in business parks and districts to receive sealed postal pouches of Meter Mail. The boxes first appeared in 1994. There are a number of minor variants in design. The boxes are manufactured by Romec, the… Read More

The firm of Edward Cole manufactured wooden-carcass, steel-fronted, enamel plated boxes for use at Post Offices from premises at 34 Albion Street, Birmingham from around 1886. By 1900 the same premises were being used by James Ludlow to manufacture very similar boxes, and these continued to be made, with minor changes in design and different… Read More

The firm of Andrew Handyside was one of the earliest to cast pillar boxes, and went on to hold many GPO contracts; the company went into liquidation around 1930 and a new firm, Derby Castings emerged in 1931. They cast some wall boxes and lamp boxes between 1931 and 1933. The 50 Type D and… Read More