The Post Boxes of Blackpool, England

Brief History:

1653 First Post Box installed in Paris, France. By 1829 Post Boxes are available throughout France.
1852 John Vaudin, a blacksmith living in Guernsey, casts seven boxes - hexagonal, 4ft 8in tall, marked William IV, painted red.
Shortly afterward E A Cowper designs the first London boxes. Square, 5ft tall, with a shallow domed roof topped by a ball - manufactured by H & M D Grissell, Regents Canal Iron Works.
1857 Richard Richardson of the Department of Science and Art at South Kensington designs an elaborate decorative hexagonal box in cast iron. Unfortunately the design neglects to include a hole for letters to be posted - one is added in the top, but this also lets in the rain. Manufactured until 1859.
1864 J W Penfold is asked to design a better box. This is hexagonal, cast by Cochrane, and used from 1866 until 1879 when it is decided that a cylindrical box would be better.
1879 The first National Standard Box is introduced, a cylindrical box in two sizes. Manufactured by Handyside, remains in production for 100 years.
The1920s. The type D box by Derby Castings, marked George V, has a stamp dispensing machine attached.
1959 - 1965 The Post Office widens the mouths of over 5,000 Wall Boxes - these used where numbers of letters is small - because modern letters are larger.
1968 A rectangular box, designed by David Mellor, is erected outside St Paul's Cathedral, London. Called the Type F, made of rectangular steel panels fitted to an internal steel framework. 200 of these are made, but are too weak.
1974 Carron Company manufactures a similar box, G Type, in cast iron. This is also a short-lived model.
1978 National Standard K Post Box is designed by Tony Gibbs. Brought into operation in 1979 as the new National Standard Box, 100 years after the first cylindrical National Standard box. Cast at the Lion Foundry of Kirkintilloch, the first of these is installed outside the Royal Albert Hall in London in 1979.

During October and November, 2002, I visited many post boxes in my home town of Blackpool, England, photographing them and detailing what information I could. I had taken Post Boxes for granted for too many years, and determined to examine the differences between them. I selected the 37 best images for inclusion in this particular project; they hopefully present the historic range available to the town.

Some notes:
All the Post Boxes have a monarch's name marked upon them. These would correspond as follows:
     VR - Queen Victoria, 1837 - 1901.
     ERVII - King Edward VII, 1901 - 1910.
     GR - King George V, 1910 - 1936.
     GRVI - King George VI, 1936 - 1952.
     ERII - Queen Elizabeth II, 1952 - present day.
Therefore the Post Boxes can be dated correspondingly, meaning that the oldest Post Box I found in Blackpool would be the one marked VR, manufactured no later than 1901.

(I have made an assumption that the boxes marked GR should be associated with King George V, as this appears to fit logically into the timeline. This may be erroneous).

After examining the photographs, I became aware that all the boxes of a particular time period were not as alike as they first appeared - as an example, the boxes marked ERVII, numbered 2 to 5 in the image sequence, have subtle differences as follows: #s 2 & 3 appear to be identical, with a keyhole flush to the surface of the box and two mouldings at both the top and the bottom of the information panel. # 4 has a keyhole flush to the surface of the box, but doesn't have the information panel mouldings. # 5 has a protruding keyhole, and doesn't have the information panel mouldings. These four boxes were all manufactured by the same company, but they still have these slight differences, giving each box its own character or individuality.

Differences between the other boxes I photographed are mainly limited to flat or protruding keyholes, position of keyhole with relation to either the handle or information panel, width of letter slot and location of manufacturer's name. Some boxes are identical in all respects bar circumference; others are identical despite having been produced by different manufacturers.

The only information I could find out about the manufacturers is as follows:
Andrew Handyside & Co (changed their name after 1931 to Derby Castings Ltd) - 1853-1933.
McDowall Steven & Co of Glasgow (now Allied Ironfounders Ltd of Falkirk) - 1904 to present.
Carron Company of Carron near Falkirk - 1922 to present.
Lion Foundry Co Ltd of Kirkintilloch, Glasgow - 1936 to present.
Abbot Engineering Ltd - earliest reference 1964, latest 1974. (Incomplete information.)
All the above companies, in operation since approximately 1905, are situated within 30 miles of Glasgow, Scotland. I'm unsure of the relevance of this.

Each photograph has an infoline with details in the following format:
Photo number, date of photo, time photo taken, location of Box, monarch and wording marked on Box, Manufacturer.

Stan Batcow, December 1st, 2002.

 

01, 6/11, 9.45 am, Gynn Avenue / Dickson Road,
VR, A. Handyside & Co Ltd. Derby & London
02, 28/10, 2.05pm, Burgess Avenue / Hawes Side Lane,
ER VII Post Office, McDowall Steven & Co Ltd. London & Glasgow
03, 30/10, 9.45 am, Moor Park Avenue / Bispham Road,
ER VII Post Office, McDowall Steven & Co Ltd. London & Glasgow
04, 14/11, 10.10 am, Watson Road / Fenber Avenue,
ER VII Post Office, McDowall Steven & Co Ltd. London & Glasgow
05, 14/11, 8.55 am, Talbot Road / Greenhill Place,
ER VII Post Office, McDowall Steven & Co Ltd. London & Glasgow
06, 14/11, 9.20 am, Grasmere Road / Bela Grove,
GR Post Office, McDowall Steven & Co Ltd. London & Glasgow
07, 14/11, 9.30 am, Waterloo Road / Threlfall Road,
GR Post Office, McDowall Steven & Co Ltd. London & Glasgow
08, 28/10, 1.55 pm, Avondale Crescent / Highfield Road,
GR Post Office, McDowall Steven & Co Ltd. London & Glasgow
09, 6/11, 9.40 am, Carshalton Road / Dickson Road,
GR Post Office, McDowall Steven & Co Ltd. London & Glasgow
10, 30/10, 4.40 pm, Central Drive / Grasmere Road,
GR Post Office, McDowall Steven & Co Ltd. London & Glasgow
11, 14/11, 9.40 am, Lytham Road / Woodfield Road,
GR Post Office, McDowall Steven & Co Ltd. London & Falkirk
12, 29/10, 12.30 pm, Canterbury Avenue / Preston Old Road,
GR Post Office, Carron Company Stirlingshire
13, 30/10, 4.30 pm, St. Anne's Road / Ayrton Avenue,
GR Post Office, Carron Company Stirlingshire
14, 6/11, 9.50 am, Antrim Road / Warbreck Hill Road,
GR Post Office, Carron Company Stirlingshire
15, 14/11, 9.35 am, Central Drive / Waterloo Road,
GR Post Office, Carron Company Stirlingshire
16, 14/11, 8.50 am, Talbot Road / Wildman Street,
GR Post Office, Carron Company Stirlingshire
17, 14/11, 10.05 am, Lytham Road / Station Road,
GR Post Office, Carron Company Stirlingshire
18, 28/10, 2.00 pm, Highbank Avenue / Vicarage Lane,
GR VI Post Office, Carron Company Stirlingshire
19, 31/10, 2.05 pm, Peddars Lane / Burnage gardens,
GR VI Post Office, Lion Foundry Co Ltd. Kirkintilloch
20, 7/11, 3.50 pm, Fir Grove / Waterloo Road,
GR VI Post Office, Lion Foundry Co Ltd. Kirkintilloch
21, 14/11, 9.40 am, Lytham Road / Haig Road,
GR VI Post Office, Lion Foundry Co Ltd. Kirkintilloch
22, 30/10, 9.40 am, Northgate / Devonshire Road,
ER II Post Office, Carron Company Stirlingshire
23, 12/11, 12.30 pm, Preston New Road / Paddock Drive,
ER II Post Office, Carron Company Stirlingshire
24, 14/11, 10.20 am, Midgeland Road / Brookfield Avenue,
ER II Post Office, Carron Company Stirlingshire
25, 31/10, 2.10 pm, Arnott Road / Rectory Road,
ER II Post Office, Carron Company Stirlingshire
26, 14/11, 9.45 am, Foxhall Square,
ER II Post Office, Carron Company Stirlingshire
27, 14/11, 9.05 am, Cedar Square,
ER II Post Office, Carron Company Stirlingshire
28, 29/10, 12.15 pm, Linden Place / Low Moor Road,
ER II Post Office, Carronade
29, 29/10, 12.40 pm, Grizedale Road / Kentmere Drive,
ER II Post Office, Carronade
30, 14/11, 10.25 am, School Road / Common Edge Road,
ER II Post Office, Carronade
31, 14/11, 10.30 am, Common Edge Road / Ecclesgate Road,
ER II Royal Mail, No Maker
32, 14/11, 10.00 am, Waterloo Road / Moore Street,
ER II (two boxes), Carronade Engineering Co Ltd, Falkirk
33, 14/11, 9.50 am, Tyldsley Road / Lytham Road,
ER II, Abbot Eng Paisley
34, 7/11, 4.15 pm, Faringdon Avenue / St. Anne's Road,
ER II, Abbot Eng Paisley
35, 28/10, 2.25 pm, St. James Road / Highfield Road,
ER II (two boxes), Abbot Eng Paisley
36, 13/11, 3.30 pm, Clifton Road / Lee Road, Franked mail only, No Maker
37, 28/10, 2.15 pm, Lindale Gardens / Squires Gate Lane,
Franked mail only, No Maker