Magical Mystery Tour in search of Boxes…

Magical Mystery Tour in search of Boxes…

Every so often I decide we’ll have a day out… I don’t always tell Mr C where we’re going.  Now Mr C doesn’t like surprises, but I like surprising people… not always the perfect start!  So another ‘surprise’ day trip for Mr C and I happened on Saturday 7 April 2012.

I set off with a list of postcodes and addresses and part way through the day we realised that we would only get half of the items covered so another day trip is already planned, just need to fit it into the diary now!

Our magical mystery tour started in Almondbury near Huddersfield in West Yorkshire… driving along the road and look what we  found!

Mr C was very impressed and was grinning from ear to ear as we managed to park outside this box.  As a Dr Who anorak he did wonder if it was bigger on the inside and perhaps the link at the bottom of this article might tell him!

We drove back to the M62 via Huddersfield and our next stop was near Boggart Hole Clough and Blackley in East Manchester.  We drove round and round using the postcode and couldn’t find anything looking like a special phone or pillar box.  We re-set the sat nav with the road infomation, nothing… turned round and drove back up the hill… and I was almost tempted to do an emergency stop.  At the other side of the road was a wonderful hexagonal Penfold pillar box from Queen Victoria’s reign.  The reason we hadn’t seen it was because instead of being red, it was green with bronze highlighting.  A huge surprise for both of us and we just couldn’t stop looking round it when we got out of the car.  A very rare gem indeed.  The VR cypher seemed very delicate compared with later models.

So by now Mr C and myself are both rather giddy… what next?

An Edward VIII pillar box in the middle of a 1930’s housing estate near Denton, Manchester.

Our next two stops were also Edward VIII pillar boxes on the outskirts of Stockport.  The first in Heaton Mersey, outside another 1930’s semi detached house.

The second between Handforth and Wilmslow, slightly unloved and outside a take away shop which was more than likely a Post Office in the past, next to a garage.

I wasn’t sure what the next item on our day trip would be.  I had a feeling it was a Victorian pillar box but this would be a surprise for me.  A very normal looking box bearing the VR cypher.  When Mr C went to investigate further he realised it was one of the older boxes where the post slot is above the door and not in the door which later became standard.  This was between Sale and Ashton Upon Mersey.  It now turns out that we were actually looking for another Edward VIII pillar box reference M33 605 and happened upon this VR pillar box by chance, this is reference M33 132.

As we were driving along to our next surprise Mr C guessed where we were going!  It was actually a Roadside AA box that he’d mentioned to me a few days ago.  We’d seen one driving home from Bridlington a few weeks ago at the bottom of Garrowby Hill but hadn’t stopped to look at.  We had a long drive to this thanks to the road system and had to drive a couple of miles down the road before we could double back thanks to the nearby motorway roundabout.  What a lovely and different looking box.  We generated a lot of looks from people driving by but we were in our element and were busy taking lots of photos.  This is between the M6 and the M56 near Tatton Park.

We’re starting to get towards the end of what we can physically fit into our Magical Mystery Tour and know that we can do maybe two more items on the list as we travel up the west of Manchester.

Our next stop was Frodsham which was a very pretty little town.  A K4 mini post office box including a telephone and George V post box, the stamp machines have been removed.  A very well kept box and there was a Frodsham Heritage Blue Plaque on the wall of the pub next to it.

Our last stop of our day trip magical mystery tour was another K4 box which was in the centre of Warrington.  This George V post box combined with a phone box and stamp machine was next to a bridge over the River Mersey which was opened by King George V on 7 July 1913.

Whilst trying to get round the Warrington one way system we discovered lots of really nice buildings and some amazing architecture.  Not least of all Warrington Town Hall which we suddenly found in front of us at the top of a road.  It is said that the gates were commissioned for Buckingham Palace but that Queen Victoria didn’t like them, see the Wiki link below.

So a very packed day which took us right round the M60, Manchester’s outer ring road.

On our Magical Mystery Tour we saw a blue police box, an AA box, two K4 mini post office boxes, a green Penfold Queen Victoria pillar box, a Type B Queen Victoria pillar box and three Edward VIII pillar boxes.  An excellent day!

Enjoy our photos!

Interesting websites and links with more information about the items we found on our day trip.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pillar_box

http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk

Almondbury Police Box  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/8141437.stm

Warrington Town Hall  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warrington_Town_Hall

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. firthy32 says:

    WOW! Not only am I amazed at your hobby (wish I had time for one) but I had no idea such historic monuments still existed! Your wealth of knowledge on this subject again blew me away x great read hun x

    1. humbugshouse says:

      Thanks hon! One day the children will be at Uni and you too can then have an ‘anorak’ style hobby!!
      It all happened after seeing a Queen Victoria pillar box near Durham in October 2011… so only a recent obsession but with a little bit of late night/early morning research we’re finding amazing things!
      Following the find of a K4 mini post office box last week I added more than pillar boxes to yesterday’s magical mystery tour!
      Glad you enjoyed reading about it. Hopefully we’ll find some more interesting history around us soon!! You’ll be deleting me from twitter once you realise how mad I really am!!
      Talk soon s x

  2. richard ellis (yercombe) says:

    what a good day out. The green Penfold is an original as well not a 1980s replica
    The E8R pillars are quite rare with only 168 known and the telelephone/letter box even rarer.
    PS want to be with other completely mad people join the Letter Box Study group
    http://www.lbsg.org

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