Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Street Furniture


This Victorian letter box has disappeared from Brimstage, Wirral. It horrifies me looking through my old photos just how many items of street furniture have disappeared over the last few years. It is as though there is a complete disregard for their historical value and general interest. Any number of pillar boxes (about which more in a future blog posting) have been replaced by new ones to the detriment of our history and the tourism industry. The biggest irony in that regard is the Post Office were taking genuine ones away with one hand and yet erecting replica Victorian ones in a few places.

A look at the website of the Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society led me to a note by Sarah Timewell who had recently been to Sri Lanka. They celebrated their street furniture by giving pride of place outside Nuwara Eliya colonial hill station post office to a Victorian letter box, placed royally and prominently on a concrete plinth.

Even better was this White Rose boiler, set on a plinth in the hotel garden in another hill station, Bandarawela.

This is another Sri Lankan letter box, suitably preserved. Sarah finishes her note with – “How nice it would be to see such items preserved in UK gardens and towns, to be enjoyed by all!” I do so agree.


  1. Hello,
    I am writing a book which will consist of several short essays about Sri Lanka, with my own drawings as illustrations. I have sketched a few postboses to illustrate the British legacy. there are many of them in Colombo: Victoran, Edwardian and of course more recent ones with the cypher of George V, George VI and Elizabeth II. The early independence era postboxes were of the same british designs but with the Crest of Ceylon, which was a commonwealth dominion. More recent post boxes have a boring square shape. Many British tourists viisting the island like to pose for photos near the old colonial era postboxes.

  2. Hello Dilip,
    I hope your book gets published and if it does you must let me know! Do you know if there are any postcards of Sri Lankan postboxes? I exchange postcards with people and would love one with a Sri Lankan post box on it!
    All the best,


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