Edward VIII Post Boxes Are Rare… We Just Know Where To Look
Well we do after spending rather a lot of time online looking through various sources. We now have a list… a list of 118 Edward VIII post boxes that we want to try and find. We realise we can’t possibly do this all by ourselves and so we have passed some information onto friends for them to look in their local area.
On Saturday 10 March 2012, Mr C and I decided to have a day out at the seaside. It was a gorgeous sunny day so a perfect day for Edward VIII post box hunting on the Yorkshire coast.
Scarborough was our first destination and we had our fingers crossed that both post boxes we were looking for would still be there… and they were!
We went the wrong way at a junction but found a lovely corner shop who sold postcards and sweeties… so armed with a Scarborough postcard and a funny postcard, one sweetie necklace and two large cola bottles we set off back down the road. The first Edward VIII post box in Scarborough was reference YO12 009 and was an A type post box, from the photos you can see that this is shorter in height. We wrote a postcard to The Curly One and took photos. This postbox is opposite a most unusual building which was actually a prison, the Dean Road Prison. Some more information is here http://www.scarboroughjail.co.uk/deanroad.html
Our next stop was the beach. Well that is important when you’re at the seaside. We parked on Marine Drive and walked part way round the North Bay. Lots of lovely brightly painted beach huts and even some donkeys were out ready to give donkey rides. We forgot to take our kites as it would have been a perfect day for them but we still enjoyed a nice stroll along the sand and then sat on the edge of the prom watching the world go by whilst talking post boxes and cakes.
As we were driving back out of Scarborough we passed a Queen Victoria post box so we took our next turning on the right and pulled up behind a Royal Mail van. The postman was actually emptying this VR post box. We were rather upset to see that he had to kick the door shut and his bunch of keys looked very big and heavy! This post box was reference YO11 31.
We then continued south and came to another Edward VIII post box just off Filey Road, reference YO11 71. This post box has been moved and is now outside a little church. We posted another postcard to The Curly One in this post box. We were just about to leave when the postman arrived to collect the post. It was the same postman we’d just seen at the Victorian box up in Scarborough! This is a lovely post box just off the beaten track almost in sight of the sea.
We decided to go drive through Filey on our way south to Bridlington. As we got closer to the town we saw a postbox on our right so we pulled over and it was one of our favourite cyphers, a King Edward VII. This was reference YO14 62. A lovely treat as there aren’t a lot of these EVII’s about either and it looked very grand shining brightly in the sunshine.
As you drive down the cobbled hill to the promenade, there is a bridge which states Joseph Butler and Co Iron Works, Stanningley, Near Leeds, 1847. This time we managed to pull up and take some photos as it’s always been too busy in the past. The promenade looked busy with lots of people out and about enjoying the sunshine.
As we reached the top of Crescent Hill we could see a post box across the road, on the corner of The Crescent and The Mews. We then saw there was no cypher. Was this one of the EVIII’s that had had the cypher ground off after his abdication? We pulled up and Mr C jumped out to take some photos. As he came back to the car he realised what we’d actually found. The very high and small aperture made us realise it wasn’t an EVIII it was in fact an Anonymous Queen Victoria. We don’t know how rare these are but we felt it was a very special find. This looked rather worn but it has stood grandly on this corner overlooking the sea for at least 120 years! This was reference YO14 51.
The following information about Anonymous Queen Victoria post boxes is from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pillar_box
A return to cylindrical boxes followed with the so-called Anonymous boxes of 1879. Andrew Handyside of Derby was the foundry, but omitted the Royal Cipher and the words “Post Office” leading to the Anonymous soubriquet. It took 13 years before this error was corrected, even though the box had undergone a major design change during that time. This involved lowering the position of the aperture relative to the top of the box. The original “High Aperture” design was prone to communications becoming caught under the rim of the cap. This was solved by lowering the aperture so that it falls centrally between the two raised beading lines. Consequently the second style is known as “Low Aperture”.
We wanted to drive down through the villages on our way to Bridlington but the coastal road was closed so we’ll have to go looking at post boxes in the villages another time.
We then arrived in Bridlington and past a post office that had the King George VI cypher above the doors, what a lovely building and almost as exciting as finding an unusual post box.
Our next find was another Edward VIII post box opposite the sports ground in Bridlington, reference YO16 48. There was a rugby match going on so we had to pull up on some double yellow lines to see the cypher as it was facing away from the road. Lots of three point turns and we did get to park quite close. A post box that will have a lot of use due to it’s location near housing, shops and the sports ground.
We then drove into Bridlington centre and tried not to go down a bus only or access only street. We arrived on a lovely road full of grand Victorian villas built in yellow bricks. I said to Mr C that there could be a VR post box in such an area, we then saw one on the left and it was, another Queen Victoria post box reference YO15 22 outside 67 Marshall Avenue, YO15 2DT.
We then parked in a Co-op near Leisure World to check our map. We realised that we’d be best walking into the centre of Bridlington from here. We found our final Edward VIII post box of the day. Right in the centre of Bridlington where thousands of people must pass every week, a very unloved looking post box too. So sad that it’s in such a central part of a tourist seaside town but so uncared for. This postbox was reference YO15 12.
We then had a drink in the local Wetherspoons then grabbed some fish and chips which we ate in the car before setting off back home to Pudsey.
On our journey home we saw some huge wind turbines in the distance heading south, a blacked out GR wall post box, a blacked out ERII wall post box, an AA box at the bottom of Garrowby Hill and drove through Stamford Bridge where the battle took place on 25 September 1066. More information on the Battle of Stamford Bridge can be found here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Stamford_Bridge
What a lovely day. Sunshine, seaside, Mr C and lots of lovely post boxes!
Another three Edward VIII have been confirmed today in London (11 March 2012). In the last couple of weeks, 14 have been confirmed through us and our friends and 5 on the list are no longer there, having been replaced by ERII post boxes (Elizabeth II).
So what did you see on your travels today? Did we make you look at post boxes? We hope so!!
Enjoy the photos.