Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Is This The Oldest Postbox In Town ?

Not had the time or inclination to check the emails of late, that sounds terrible but it's more to do with not being up to it than can't be bothered.

Anyway... there has been a few good ones come in, and this one from Philip Ward get my interest. 

Over to Phil:

"I have been enjoying your Hydonian blog for several years.  At last I thought I would send an entry to see if it gets posted.
 I have attached two photos of a post box, which I have walked past many times over the years.   But just not any old post box, perhaps. 

On every post box in the UK, the Royal Cipher can be seen relating the reigning monarch at the time of the installation.  It is made up of the Christian (first) name of the King or Queen together with the letter R which stands for Regina (Queen) or Rex (King).

This particular post box is located at the junction of Clarendon Road and Commercial Brow.  The royal cipher on the front of the post box is “GR” (George Rex) – which would relate to King George the Sixth.  Therefore this post box would have been installed during his reign of 1936 to 1952 – probably towards the latter part of his reign maybe?   So the post box is at least 62 years old.  I cannot recall seeing any other post boxes with such a crest anywhere else.  All other post boxes seem to carry the royal cipher “EiiR” (Elizabeth Regina) for Queen Elizabeth the Second (1952 - present day).

I would guess this is probably the oldest post box in Hyde - if not Tameside!"


Anonymous said...

The post box built into the wall opposite 137 Bennett Street has GR on it.

Dave Williams said...

I'd suggest it's George the Fifth, Tom, as George the Sixth boxes have a 'VI' included. My theory is that as postboxes started with Victoria then George the Fifth would have been the first George to have postboxes marked with his name, so it wouldn't have been thought necessary to use his regnal number. That would date the postbox here to sometime between 1910 and 1936. (Although my theory doesn't explain why Edward the Seventh postboxes are marked with a 'VII')

Gerald (SK14) said...

GR is George V (fifth) George (sixth) boxes have the label GVIR - here is one in Stalybridge Here is a GR box in Woodley I haven't examined the boxes in Hyde too carefully although it is on my todo list.

Tom said...

Thank you... I thought this would bring some information in.. Gerald, I can see you now my friends putting this to the top of your ToDo list... I'm surprised one of us as not checked these out already my friend.

Dave Williams said...

This website tells you about the designs of the royal ciphers used on postboxes and the dates covered by each one.

Gerald (SK14) said...

An interactive map of all SK14 area postboxes can be found here

Bill Lancashire said...

I don't think it's been painted since 1910 either ;-)

jenny roberts said...

There is a VR post box on the wall of the Old Ball Inn in Ashton and another one at the Fairfield Moravian Settlement.

downsie21 said...

In the early 70's we holidayed in County Kerry in the Irish Republic.
Looking for a post box to post cards home we turned a corner in Bantry town and found a post box with the letters VR. We just burst out laughing because on hearing we we going to Eire my father in law said "they still think Victoria's on the throne"