> having queried the Listed building service data,
> it would appear that there are only 3 listed
> letter boxes in Greater London. None of which are
> south of the river, and none of which dat from
> after mid 19th Century. So it would appear that
> it is not listed.
> I will however attempt a different type of
> search and see what results I get.
The Images of England database of listed buildings gives the largest number of results using "letter box" -but apparently none in any of the three former boroughs comprising modern Southwark!
indeed - and having just done a search for the wildcard search %post% on the text entries for listed buildings in southwark, none of them are post boxes, pillar boxes, or letter boxes at all whatsoever, so I'm inclined to believe that it's not listed, and someone will have to go out there and walk the streets till they find it (or alternatively go out with a postal van picking up letters from post boxes)
bmovie - as an employee of English Heritage, I get access to slightly more information than the average punter (not that anyone on here is average!). I was actually interogating the English Heritage Listed Building System (LBS) - which is 'the definitive list' of listed buildings - if it's not on the list, it's not listed!
I emailed the Postal Heritage Trust this afternoon, just on the off chance, with a plea for help as this obsession was approaching cider-needing proportions, and got this very speedy but sadly slightly depressing (from an SE1 point of view) response from Elizabeth Culver - I suspect perhaps we have over-interpreted Southwark as SE1? The Nunhead Lane box would qualify for the nearest... Her answer is below:
"Thank you for your enquiry regarding the Edward VIII pillar box in London,
SE1. Only 161 pillar boxes were cast during his short reign and although
many have survived, they are uncommon.
We have a list listing all the Edward VIII pillar boxes in England - I
have had a look and unfortunately there does not seem to be one in the SE1
area. However, you will find them in:
SE6 - Crantock Road
SE15 - 62 Nunhead Lane
SE19 - Hermitage Road, Beulah Hill.
However, the list dates from 1969 and so may not be up to date. You may
wish to contact the Letter Box Study Group - their contact details can be
found on their website www.lbsg.org.
I hope you find this information useful and that it helps your discussion."
A courteous and helpful reply - I can't imagine anything could have happened since 1969 to generate more of these if they know how many were made, but never say never...
I couldn't resist linking to the Postal heritage Trusts picture on their postbox page (http://www.consignia.com/heritage/english/collections/collections_letterbox.asp) just to add a bit of colour to this discussion, even if there is only one colour that matters - red red red...
Well there ought to have been one in SE1 or at least nearby!
I see two options:
Either (i) We pretend to be one of the Norwood Society's summer walks (details available when the Summer Walks in South London leaflet comes out), dig up the Hermitage Road letterbox while it is surrounded by a group of 40 people , put a coat and hat on it so that it is indistinguishable from one of the stout ladies of South London civic societies, and lug it to a nearby van;
Or (ii) Using the team-working skills developed for cider-making, we spend a weekend learning sand-casting technique to craft a replica letter box in the City Farm's forge. Someone needs to take night classes in locksmithing to create a convincing lock as well! I'm sure my DTP skills run to producing a laminated sheet of colllection times in the style of ten years ago.
We dig a hole, then under cover of darkness, we put the box somewhere near Mandela Way that was affected by major roadworks at the time of the reconstruction of Bricklayers arms.
Once we have an Edward VIII letter box in north Southwark, we plant a false trail of paperwork to give the box provenance (already started with the inaccurate story in "In SE1"). Jon then uses his database access to create a false listed building record as well.
Presto - instant heritage for SE1.
We collect dumped/stolen post from sacks found discarded in the area, lock it in the box and invite the press to see the appalling story of "the post box that time forgot" from which no collections have been made for a decade!