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Lower Edmonton > General information and oddments > Pillar boxes

Pillar boxes

Just for fun I thought I'd have a page featuring pillar boxes :-)
Please note that most pages on this site have had little attention since the end of 2005 so may be somewhat out of date. Even if some parts of the page have clearly been updated that does not mean all the page has.

I don't have any particular interest in pillar boxes, I just thought it would be a laugh to have a page featuring them. If anyone wants to offer up any extra information about them then they are welcome, as are photos of any other pillar boxes in Lower Edmonton or indeed of other types of post boxes :-)

It seems photos of bright red pillar boxes are prone to highlighting the lossy JPEG compression used to save them but I wont worry too much about that!

After much pondering I have decided to be a little wordy at the expense of a long page in order to add a little more interest. I am batching the boxes by type and in a rough age order (oldest first). After the pics I have some more info about boxes.

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Church Street (near Haselbury Road)

Anonymous - Type A (High Aperture)

This box is on the south side of Church Street outside a parade of shops a little to the west of the Haselbury Road junction (opposite the petrol station and the playing field). These so called anonymous boxes were installed between 1879 and 1887. This part of Church Street had many Victorian town house including some still clearly marked as 1881.

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Hertford Road (between Croyland Road and Bury Street)

Victoria- Type A (High Aperture)

This box is on the west side of the road just past St Edmunds church and must date to post 1887 because of the cipher. This area to the north of The Green on the main road would have been one of the first parts to develop, as is illustrated by The Crescent nearby, before they developed away from the high road.

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Bounces Road (between Oxford Road and Gordon Road)

Victoria- Type A (High Aperture)

Bounces Road and Town Road were being developed heavily in the last quarter of C19 so we shouldn't be too surprised to find a Victorian box here where there is a parade of local shops.

[image] Bury Street West (Salisbury House)

Victoria - Wall Box

Although most of the residential development in Bury Street West is very much 20th Century (between the wars I would say) it once had many old country houses. Therefore finding a Victorian wall box in the wall of Salisbury House, the last one standing, doesn't seem unreasonable.

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Town Road and Granville Avenue

Edward VII - Type A

This box is outside the Post Office at the Montagu Road end of Town Road. As has been mentioned Town Road and Bounces Road were the focus of development in late Victorian times and it doesn't seem unreasonable for development at the eastern end to have drifted into Edward VII's reign.

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Bounces Road (west of Warley Road)

Edward VII - Type A

This box is at the eastern end of Bounces Road on the north side. This particular area seems to have been redeveloped around the 1960s or later but as previously mentioned Bounces Road was building up in late Victorian times and would probably have reached this end around the turn of the century.

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Croyland Road (by the path to the railway footbridge)

Edward VII - Type A

This box is on the west side of Croyland Road by the path leading to the footbridge over the railway and the end of terrace house used to be a shop. The date of the box probably says a lot about the date of the surrounding housing :-)

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Church Street (Delivery Office)

Edward VII - Type A

This box towards the eastern end of Church Street is outside the delivery office and I think predates it a little. I wont try and justify the date of it!

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Church Street and Stanley Road

Edward VII - Type B

The Hyde House Estate was developed from 1881 onwards and I guess it merited a post box on the north side of the road, even though the one near Haselbury Road isn't so far away.

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Bury Street and Millbrook Road

Edward VII - Type B

This is towards the east end of Bury Street. The east side of Millbrook Road was developed by 1894 but Bury Street wasn't so it seems reasonable that it would be the turn of the century when they population had built up to make this box (outside a shop) useful.

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Fore Street and Shrubbery Road

George V - Type A

This box is on the end of the parade of shops just outside the old Library. I couldn't speculate on the age of it really. I would have imagined the area might predate the 1910-1936 era slightly.

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The Green and Balham Road

George V - Type A

There used to be a Post Office next to Ragg's chemist shop here. However in a 1937 directory it is now only mentioned as a tobacconists which suggest perhaps it had been moved away and replaced by a post box.

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Haselbury Road and Central Avenue

George V - Type A

The Hyde Estate started being developed in the 1920s and was intended as a large "garden city" type layout stretching far further west. So finding a George V box outside the shops next to Central Avenue seems consistent.

[image] Chatsworth Drive and Hazel Grove

George V - Type A

It may come under the EN1 postcode but I've always thought of that area nesting between the railway line and the Great Cambridge Road as an honorary part of Lower Edmonton as it was on the route from the Galliard Estate to the stop for buses to Turnpike Lane. The estate is pretty much 1930s style builds so a George V box seems right.

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Chalfont Road and Sweet Briar Grove

George V - Type B (Crown higher up on door)

This is one of the boxes with the crown higher up the door. As mentioned above, the Hyde Estate dates from the 1920s so a George V box makes sense.

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Deansway

George V - Type B (Crown higher up on door)

This box, again with the higher crown, is on the south side of Deansway roughly opposite Latymer Way. Deansway is again part of the Hyde Estate development so the dating of the box is as expected.

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Church Street (opposite the junction with Ridge Road)

George V - Type B (Crown higher up on door)

Church Street remained largely open country west of the Haselbury Road area until the 1920s and to the west of the A10 the housing has a 1930s look so a George V box seems right. Again it has the higher crown.

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Hertford Road and King Edward's Road

George V - Type B (Crown higher up on door)

This box is near to the Post Office in the parade south of King Edward's Road. Housing in this area seems to me to be a mix of 1930s housing and slightly older buildings of around 1910. So George V seems right. This is one of the boxes where the crown is higher on the door.

[image] Winchester Road (on the bend south of Glastonbury Road)

George V - Type B (Crown higher up on door)

Another box with the crown higher up on the door and the area shows many of the characteristics of the above one with 1930s housing in the north and older housing on the south end of the road.

[image] Latymer Road (south of Lancing Gardens)

George V - Type B

This part of Latymer Road has housing from around the 1930s so a George V box makes sense.

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Hertford Road and Galliard Road

George V - Type B

Very much a 1930s area.

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Galliard Road (roughly opposite Mayfield Crescent )

George V - Type B

A box serving the middle of the Galliard Estate which is very much 1930s style.

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Galliard Road and St Edmunds Road

George V - Type B

The third box for the Galliard Estate is at the southern end. The end looks slightly older but still between the wars.

[image] Bury Street West and Cambridge Terrace

George V - Type B

This box is outside the Post Office on Cambridge Terrace. This terrace replaced Bury House which was there until the late 1920s at least and is an area that has the 1930s written all over it.

[image] Bury Street West and Little Bury Street

George V - Type B

This junction was remodelled around 1930-ish so the date of the box makes a lot of sense!

[image]

Westerham Avenue (outside the Post Office)

George V - Type B

This box is near the junction with the A10 Great Cambridge Road and is tucked in extraordinarily close to the front window of the Post Office at a strange angle. I suspect the box was there and the Post Office was built next to it much later. Westerham Avenue has a 1920/30s look about it so the date of the box makes sense.

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Victoria Road and Maldon Road

George VI - Type A

This box is outside the Post Office on the parade of shops opposite the Barbot Estate. The shops and at least one similar block behind are on the site of West Street which dated from the late 19th C. and was still very much there in 1953. So I would suggest this dates the shops to the late 1950s or 1960s with the area to the west dating from the 1920s and 1930s. So George VI seems at first inspection to cover the one period when there wasn't any obvious development here.

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Hertford Road and Lowden Road

George VI - Type A

This box is outside the Post Office on the corner with Lowden Road and as with the other George VI box it is an interesting date. Perhaps the Post Office only opened in his 1936-1952 reign.

[image]

Fore Street and Knights Lane

Elizabeth II - Type A

This box is outside the site of the old Town Hall. I have seen a pillar box here or very close by in an illustration said to be Edwardian so this suggests this box must be a replacement.

[image]

Tesco (South Mall, Edmonton Green)

Elizabeth II - Type ?

This box has appeared near the exit of Tesco in recent years. It is quite a monster compared to the old Type A/B boxes.

Although I produced this page as a bit of a joke there are those that are interested in these things so I feel I ought to show I have done a little research, as shown below, and I have used this research in the captions.

The basic design of cylindrical pillar box represented in all the photos above (at the time of writing), dates from 1879. Some basic terminology.

The top bit of a pillar box is the cap, with the very top bit sometimes being referred to as the roof. The edge of the cap is typically ornamented. Below the cap is usually the indicator tablet though on the earliest "high aperture" boxes it is lower down. The tablet used to have a number to refer to the time of the next collection but with the withdrawal of fixed collection times it now indicates which day the next colllection is so you can tell if the last post has been. Below this is the aperture and this can vary in height and width. Next comes the notice plate with details of collections.

The door usually has the crown, royal cipher, and Post Office legend on it. George V boxes are particularly noted for some boxes having these positioned differently to others (there are examples above). Finally there is the base which is usually black and may have the name of the manufacturer on it.

The cylindrical box comes in two standard sizes which are both 5 ft 4 in tall. The Type A is 1 ft 7 1/4 in diameter and the Type B slimmer at 1 ft 3 1/4 in and both are clearly represented in the photos above. There are also Type C boxes which are the oval ones with two slots. I haven't come across one of them in Lower Edmonton (though for some reason I always imagined there was one on The Broadway near the train station — I must have been imagining things).

It might be that the Type A and Type B terminology doesn't apply to boxes earllier than George V. I am not clear on this. I do seem to have two size boxes for Edward VII so I'll use the terms.

From 1879 to 1887 the boxes had plain doors and are known as anonymous boxes. In 1887 the Royal Cipher was added with the Post Office legend being either side of the aperture. The Royal Ciphers can help date the boxes. Victoria (to 1901), Edward VII (1901 to 1910), George V (1910 to 1936), Edward VII (1936), George VI (1936 to 1952) and Elizabeth II (1952 to present).

Examining the photos, I consider I have examples of...

...so that is eleven different designs for thirty boxes (at the time of writing).

Credit must go to Paul's Unofficial Letterbox Pages for all the above information.

For completeness I suppose I should acknowledge other pillar boxes and post boxes in N9 that I am aware of :-)

I am sure there will be a few more around that I don't know about.

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