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ESTABLISHED 1976ALL PRICES INCLUDE VAT
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UKAA buy and sell Cast Iron Post Boxes. We are the UK's number one retailer of Original Royal Mail Post Boxes. We have in stock a large selection of wall mounted post boxes, post mounted post boxes, arched back and pillar boxes.
The original cast iron post box is as standard supplied to you in Post Office red. The red post box will be fully refurbished and ready for use. We also have in stock a number of pillar boxes. The post box is an iconic British item.
We have been dealing in post boxes for over 50 years and have lots of experience in post boxes and the restoration of them, all our post boxes are fully refurbished in our yard, by our very experienced team. If you were to visit our yard in the week you will see them at work, it is really interesting to see the transformation. The lads will also be more than happy to answer any questions.
We start by preparing the original surface ready for painting, by removing any loose paint and rust on the post box while keeping as much of the original paint and character as possible.
The post box is then painted using a rust inhibitor, then undercoated in a red oxide primer. Finally it is then hand painted in two top coats of post office red gloss.
The original Chubb locks are refurbished and fully working.
We can also paint the letters for you in Gold or Silver.
Brief Post Box History
The Royal Mail letter box was introduced following the 1840 postal reform, which provided for a universal affordable postage rate. This was easily pre-payable by means of the new adhesive stamps. However, letters still had to be taken to the nearest letter receiving office, which could be miles away. This led to the need for many more convenient places where stamped letters could be posted. The novelist Anthony Trollope, who was a General Post Office (GPO) official, provided the solution: the adoption of the continental system of placing locked cast-iron pillar boxes at the roadside and the provision of regular collection times. His scheme began in the Channel Islands in 1852 and was extended to the mainland in 1853. The first letter boxes were hexagonal in form, but a wide variety of other designs quickly appeared. In 1859 an improved cylindrical design was created for standard use nationwide. This design had its posting aperture positioned beneath a cap for greater protection from rainwater. This standardised design of 1859 was itself soon followed by a variety of new designs: the elegant hexagonal Penfold box with a cap decorated with acanthus leaves (1866); a simple pillar surmounted by a cap with a dentil frieze around its edge (1879); and a large oval version of the simple pillar box form with separate apertures for town and country letters (1899).
From 1857 wall box-type letter boxes came into use for fixing into existing walls. Small lamp-post boxes were first introduced in 1896 for use in London squares and later in other areas, particularly rural locations. By 1860 over 2,000 roadside letter boxes had been set up in all parts of the United Kingdom; by the end of the century there were over 33,500, with many more found throughout the British Empire.
Royal Mail Letterboxes
Royal Mail letter boxes are a cherished feature of the British street scene. As well as being in daily operational use for an essential public service, they are national icons and a highly distinctive part of our environment. Currently there are over 85,000 in England alone. The vast majority make a very significant contribution to the character and appearance of the areas in which they are located. Since 1852 the main changes have been those of design and manufacture. Experimental designs have included a rectangular shape of 1968 and a radically different cylindrical design of 1980. However, new pillar-type letter boxes presently being produced reflect the same design and patterns that have served so well for 123 years: a simple cast-iron pillar with a cap and a double aperture oval box for town and city centre use.
Decoration and maintenance
All Royal Mail letter boxes would have been painted in standard red and black livery. No variation was allowed, except in very exceptional circumstances where there are genuine historical reasons, such as the use of green and black livery for some early boxes or Air Force blue for surviving George VI airmail boxes. Letter boxes are painted every three years. Local circumstances may require some boxes to be painted more frequently (eg locations – such as coastal sites – where abnormal levels of deterioration occur). All paint must be lead-free and of the correct specification (Royal Mail red, colour ref no. 538 BS381C and Black, colour ref no. 00E53, BS4800).
The highlighting of specific features on letter boxes, such as the Royal cipher and crown in gold, is not normally allowed other than in exceptional circumstances on some pillar boxes where there is historic justification. Where gold highlighting is used, it should be applied to the Royal cipher and crown only. No other graphic elements or wording on the box (e.g. Royal Mail or the manufacturer’s name) should be treated in this way. Lettering enamel should be used and covered with a varnish to minimise weathering.
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