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Pillar Box - Post Box

On 23 November 1852 the first four British pillar boxes were introduced as an experiment in St Helier, on the island of Jersey. They were red-painted hexagonal boxes much the same as seen in the first photograph below.

1856 Pillar Box

1866 Penfold

Fluted Pillar Box

How to tell how old a pillar box is

Until the 1980's both the telephone and the postal service came under the control of the General Post Office. Post boxes older than 1980 will often have the words Post Office rather than Royal Mail as seen on modern post boxes.

The Royal Cipher (Monarch's symbols or motif )

On every post box in the UK, the Royal Cipher can be seen of the reigning monarch at the time of the installation. It is made up of the Christian (first) name of the King or Queen together with the letter R which stands for Regina (Queen) or Rex (King).

image: Victoria's motif
image: Edward VII
VR for Victoria Regina
1837 - 1901
ER for Edward Rex
1901 - 1910
image: George
image: Elizabeth
GR for George Rex (George V)
 1910 - 1936 or 1936 - 1952
ER for Elizabeth Regina
1952 - present day

Note: In the Royal cypher of King George the fifth the V is always missing. King George VI cypher is not shown above.

Also on this day ....

23 November 1963 - First episode of Dr Who

The first ever episode of Doctor Who, originally in black and white and starring William Hartnell, was broadcast.


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