Post boxes

Post boxes

Postby Andrew Duffy » Wed Sep 20, 2006 5:33 pm

I'm not sure what made me think of this, but anyway...

The Royal Mail was established during the long reign of Queen Victoria, and thus we see a lot of postboxes with her "VR" seal on them. There are also a fair few "ER" examples from Edward's reign in the inner suburbs. However, I don't think I've ever seen one with the "GR" seal that would identify George V. Has anyone seen one, or had the policy changed by 1910 (perhaps to using the city seal)?
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Re: Post boxes

Postby ctesiphon » Wed Sep 20, 2006 6:18 pm

I've seen a few, alright. It used to be my job to see them, so I was paying particular attention. Can't think of any precise locations, though, I'm afraid.

There is a good variety of ciphers/insignias/callthemwhatyouwant on postboxes- one of the rarer ones is S.E. for Saorstat Eireann. There's a wall-mounted box in Monaghan town bearing this lettering.

My favourite boxes in the country, though, are the hexagonal pillar postboxes from the Victorian era- same lettering, but smaller and far more decorative than the standard pillar postboxes. Acorn finials, beading around the base of the cap, etc. I've heard there are 6 in the whole country, of which I know the locations of four. It's a bit of a personal quest.:)

PS I think there was a thread a while back (a good while, now) where this was discussed in a bit of detail. I'm not having a go- just saying that if you wanted to do a search (I haven't the time right now) you might find more.
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Re: Post boxes

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:05 am

Andrew-
Here's the thread I was thinking of: http://www.archiseek.com/content/showthread.php?t=4353
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Re: Post boxes

Postby GrahamH » Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:09 am

Yes I believe there's a George V box or two in Dundalk also - will check it out.
In Dublin they're certainly pretty rare. I imagine it's because the Post Office invested heavily in post offices and boxes in a major national upgrading project (presumably via OPW) around 1900-1910, so George's later reign lost out in the insignia department.

A nice later box here at the junction of Lower Mount Street (all attendant clutter had to be cropped out :rolleyes: )

Image


Also the late Victorian box as recently featured on Dartmouth Square South:

Image


Agreed about the lovely Victorian boxes, often forgotton about. The rounded pillar box is a comparitively recent innovation.

Image

...though according to An Post the Penfold's weren't great in the practicality department.

http://www.anpost.ie/AnPost/MainContent/About+An+Post/History/about-postboxes.htm
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Re: Post boxes

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:21 am

Salthill?! That makes five! Only one more to go.

I knew New Ross already (pic in the link Graham posted), along with Galway city, Skibbereen, and a house in Kilmacanogue in Wicklow which has one as its domestic box! I glimpsed it one day as we were driving up a winding, hilly road and couldn't quite believe my eyes- still must go back to make sure I wasn't dreaming.

That Salthill one looks quite stubby, though- is the pic a bit distorted, I wonder?

And I noticed recently while passing through New Ross that the hotel in front of which the New Ross box stands is up for sale- I hope the box doesn't get 'lost' in the process.

Lastly, the rarest box I know of stands in the train station in Cork city- I think it;s the only one of its kind in the country.
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Re: Post boxes

Postby ctesiphon » Mon Oct 16, 2006 1:29 pm

For the curious, today I found more info on boxes here, from which page the Letter Box Study Group homepage can be found.
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Re: Post boxes

Postby A-ha » Wed Oct 18, 2006 10:05 pm

I know abit irrelevant from the topic, even though I love our old post boxes, but when are we to get post codes? I thought we were to have them by now, have they scrapped the idea? Is there some sort of protection order on the old post boxes? I wouldn't mind seeing a few reproductions around the place, especially those hexagonal ones.
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Re: Post boxes

Postby fergalr » Thu Oct 19, 2006 5:34 pm

Do we need postal codes? I always thought Dublin and Ireland were both small enough to get away with not needing them.
Anyone who might possess pictures of post-independence boxes, could you please put em p? There's a lovely one near UCD that I'll take a snap of tomorrow, with the decorative 'Posts and Telegraphs' cipther.
Green-painted post boxes; a symbol of the free state if ever there was one!!
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Re: Post boxes

Postby LOB » Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:35 pm

ctesiphon wrote:There is a good variety of ciphers/insignias/callthemwhatyouwant on postboxes- one of the rarer ones is S.E. for Saorstat Eireann. There's a wall-mounted box in Monaghan town bearing this lettering.


Just noticed this morning that there is one at the Junction of Inchicore Road & Sarsfield Road in Inchicore.
The detail is a bit obscured by years of paint.
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Re: Post boxes

Postby geraghtyg » Tue Oct 24, 2006 4:03 pm

Was on walkies during lunch hour yesterday and took a couple of pics with the mentioned Inchicore SE post boxes. Well here they are, if anyone's interested. Taken with camera phone.

Image
Image
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Re: Post boxes

Postby ctesiphon » Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:04 pm

Yup- that's the one. Thanks. Looking at it afresh, I don't remember the Monaghan one having a crown over the slot. Leads me to wonder whether this isn't, say, a Victorian box with a replacement door, or even just an SE cipher stuck onto a Voctorian door- the SE looks slightly crooked, which would suggest the latter is a possibility. Hmmm...

A-ha wrote:Is there some sort of protection order on the old post boxes?

The NIAH includes postboxes in its surveys, as it does for much street furniture. This was certainly the case with the town surveys a few years ago. Whether it's still done for the broader-brush county surveys I don't know. An of course, whether the councillors decide to accept the recommendations of the NIAH is another question altogether.

There's another relevant point here- that An Post sometimes moves post boxes around the place, so there's no guarantee that a box today is in its original location. It made me think perhaps boxes should be tagged or given a code to assist in their protection/classification etc. Maybe An Post has already done this? I'd be curious to know if they have a full list. Not that I'm a box-nerd or anything...:o
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Re: Post boxes

Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:43 pm

Never seen a Saorstat Eireann one before.... very cool.
Where's the SE one in Monaghan?
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Re: Post boxes

Postby GrahamH » Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:53 pm

Isn't it just - it must be very rare.

The relic that is the crown emblem is particularly interesting, suggesting as you say ctesiphon that the SÉ may be a modification. It's unlikely the lettering was added though - I'd say the theory of a replacement door is quite credible. The other possibility is that the box itself was a standardised unit which was difficult to alter, whereas the doors were easily 'modifiable' to take account of changing monarchs, so when it came to producing postboxes under the Free State, the standard box model continued to be churned out with crown still intact, but with a new door cipher.

A typically sturdy inner city Edward VII pillar box on Harcourt Street, 1901-1911:

Image
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Re: Post boxes

Postby LOB » Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:10 am

Think you have a point there ctesiphon
Post Box with mixed Loyalties in Sligo :) SE & Edward VII
http://www.buildingsofireland.ie/niah/search.jsp?type=images&county=SL®no=32401408

but the pull handle on the one in Inchicore is more like the one on this Victorian example
http://www.buildingsofireland.ie/niah/search.jsp?type=images&county=SL®no=32007013

But the crown is most likely George V
http://www.buildingsofireland.ie/niah/search.jsp?type=images&county=SL®no=32314014
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Re: Post boxes

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:36 am

LOB wrote:Think you have a point there ctesiphon
Post Box with mixed Loyalties in Sligo :) SE & Edward VII
but the pull handle on the one in Inchicore is more like the one on this Victorian example

Nice detective work.:)
Interesting too to note the updated 'cipher' on the Victorian one...;)

Paul-
I'll have to check the archive for a print photo. I think I still have one.
From a quick check of a map of Monaghan town centre, I'd guess it was Mill Street or thereabouts. Certainly west (?) of the courthouse.
I'll see what I can find.
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Re: Post boxes

Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Oct 26, 2006 2:05 am

I cannot place a postbox on Mill Street apart from the Post Office.. could be the bottom of Park Street where the "brothers' steps" are. There is one there, no sure if it is still in use though
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Re: Post boxes

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:00 pm

Could be it- I seem to remember the box being pretty dilapidated.
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More on Dublin Pillar Post Boxes...

Postby eurotraveler05 » Sun Oct 29, 2006 2:14 pm

I have seen a couple of threads that reference pillar style post boxes in Dublin. I am interested to find out if anyone knows of a list, or can tell me where I can locate any boxes left over from British rule, or "SE" style boxes, that are located within the city of Dublin. I leave for Dublin Wednesday morning, and would like to photograph some of the boxes while I am there.

Thanks in advance for any replies.

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Re: Post boxes

Postby ctesiphon » Tue Oct 31, 2006 3:22 am

Hi Eric,
If you're staying in the city centre, there should be older pillar post boxes nearby. A good number of our boxes still bear royal ciphers as the photos here attest.
As far as I know, there isn't a comprehensive list (see my post #11 above), and the NIAH surveys mentioned above don't yet include Dublin city or county. But look at the link in post #4 above for some leads, perhaps.
Are you looking for any particular type of box? There are no hexagons in Dublin, but there are a few other unusual types such as the double box - for 'Dublin' and 'All Other Places' - on Dame Street. If you're sticking to the Georgian parts of town, you shouldn't have too much trouble finding what you're after.

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I haven't forgotten about you, just been run off my feet lately. I'll be back soon.
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Re: Post boxes

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Oct 31, 2006 5:45 am

I've asked my sister who is Heritage Officer for County Monaghan - but she's off work at the moment....
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Re: Post boxes

Postby eurotraveler05 » Tue Oct 31, 2006 7:43 am

ctesiphon wrote:Hi Eric,
If you're staying in the city centre, there should be older pillar post boxes nearby. A good number of our boxes still bear royal ciphers as the photos here attest.
As far as I know, there isn't a comprehensive list (see my post #11 above), and the NIAH surveys mentioned above don't yet include Dublin city or county. But look at the link in post #4 above for some leads, perhaps.
Are you looking for any particular type of box? There are no hexagons in Dublin, but there are a few other unusual types such as the double box - for 'Dublin' and 'All Other Places' - on Dame Street. If you're sticking to the Georgian parts of town, you shouldn't have too much trouble finding what you're after.



ctesiphon, thanks for your reply. I'm staying in the city centre on Aungier Street, so I will have to take a good look around as I roam about the city. I'm not really looking for any one design in particular (I know there are dozens of designs and have no formal knowledge on the subject as many others I have seen do). I appreciate your writing back.

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Re: Post boxes

Postby MrX » Tue Oct 31, 2006 11:53 am

Post codes:

Apparently the post codes roll out in 2008. They're still finalising the details.

We definitely do need them. The major problem is that Ireland has lots and lots of non-unique addresses and very vague fuzzy addresses. Reliable delivery of mail / packages and other items requires extensive local knowledge which is all held by your local post man who is an An Post employee.

If this postman/woman changes job, etc it can take months for mail to arrive reliably again.

But, more fundementally, for other operators DHL, TNT, FedEX and others there is a major problem delivering to addresses as they're often very difficult to locate.

This often makes package delivery in Ireland very slow and in efficient once you go outside of central business districts of cities.

Add to that the inability of emergency services to easily locate addresses!
A post code can identify a property far far more effectively than a typical Irish address.

Finally, adding a post code line to our addresses avoids the need to have to change them to a more logical format. We can keep traditional townlands, etc etc address bilingually ...
As it stands there are some areas where people have to put neighbouring counties on their addresses to ensure reliable delivery !!!
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Re: Post boxes

Postby Craetegus » Thu Nov 02, 2006 5:02 pm

Righto. I am going to have a search around Monaghan Town for the SE postbox and will post a pic when found.
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Re: Post boxes

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Nov 02, 2006 5:10 pm

Try Market Street, maybe? Looking again at a map, I'm almost certain it is (was?) in the vicinity of the Dawson Monument.

http://www.monaghantourism.com/html/monaghanmap.html
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Re: Post boxes

Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:17 pm

really? I cannot place a postbox there at all...

Craetegus I think bottom of Park Street, or Broad Road near St. Enda'a
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