Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Upton on Severn, Worcestershire


A Ludlow in Worcestershire

The previous post about pillar boxes seemed to attract a lot of interest, so, although I’ve not managed to pass an Edward VIII post box recently, here’s a letter box with the monogram of his brother, George VI.

There have been wall boxes, post boxes set into the walls of Post Offices or into all kinds of other walls in the countryside, since Victorian times, and I don’t normally give them too much attention. But this one caught my eye because of the unusual enamel plate. Jonathan Glancey’s good little book Pillar Boxes (1989) tells me that this is what’s known as a Ludlow box, manufactured by James Ludlow of Birmingham, a company that supplied non-standard wall boxes from the late-19th century until the firm closed in 1965. Their boxes have a white enamel plate and no rain hood over the letter slot. The body of the box is not cast iron, like most post boxes, but is made of wood with a covering of sheet metal.

Perhaps the lighter body and the tendency for the enamel plates to come away from the front have made Ludlow boxes slightly less durable than their cast-iron counterparts. But it was good to find this one, still accepting mail and still catching the eye with its businesslike enamel panel.

10 comments:

Edith Hope said...

Dear Philip, I have always rather fancied a country house with a letter box set into the wall of the gate piers. A Ludlow box for this purpose would be absolutely perfect. Nothing would be quite like having one's own 'personal' collection point!!

Philip Wilkinson said...

Lovely idea. I have to make do with the post box up the street by the pub - one at the end of a crunchy gravel drive would be much better!

Peter Ashley said...

A lovely shot, reminescent of an abstract Union Flag.

And it reminds me (obscurely I know) of private boxes used in country houses, as seen (yet again) in the film The Go Between.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Peter: Thank you. Maybe private individuals could buy these boxes - or variants thereof - from Mr Ludlow, for use in their country houses. I don't know.

columnist said...

I'm surprised that any letter boxes might have been made during the brief reign of Edward VIII.

I'm also curious as to whether the "RI" was used on their cyphers for letter boxes, after the 1876 creation of Victoria as Imperatrix. Perhaps only on coins.

The Vintage Knitter said...

I recall seeing one with a similar enamel plate in Porlock; it was the plate that attracted my attention too as I thought it was quite unusual.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Columnist: As far as I can remember I've not seen 'RI' on letterboxes.

expat said...

Funnily enough just before I read your post I had been reading this blog

http://diamondgeezer.blogspot.com/

There are links there on today's post to an Edward VIII box.

Vinogirl said...

Nice post box...the blue and white wall looks Greek-like.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Expat: Thanks for the link. Long ago I lived in SE London, but wasn't aware of that box.