Protecting Our Postal Heritage
VR Lampbox Appleford near Chale, Isle of Wight
My friend Mr. John Adams formerly a Cowes postman died 3 years ago sadly. He has been greatly missed and was a very good friend as well as a source of Royal Mail knowledge!
He also had a small collection of postboxes and enamel plates which his wife donated to my museum.
Among them was this very rare VR cast iron lamp box. It was originally fixed to a post at Appleford near Chale on the Island. At some stage in the 1980s it was hit by a car and the door was broken in half.
John saved it from scrap and had it in the back room of his house.
The box is very rare as only the first very few of these boxes were made without the words 'Only' underneath 'Letters'. The word Only was introduced as people were posting newspapers and blocking the boxes up.
This box is particularly rare as it exhibits details not even seen on the few 'Letters' lamp boxes that have survived. Noticeably, no drain holes in the bottom, a larger posting aperture, a much thinner casting and smaller hinges as can be seen on this box.
I have had the door welded up and the box completely restored in John's memory.
My thinking is that this box, and perhaps the other 2 that were in use on the Island sadly now gone, were from the initial trial batch produced for town squares in Central London, as this is what the were originally designed for?
Also, the very thin hood over the posting slot makes these particularly vulnerable( a detail not found on other 'Letters' lamp boxes) and it can't be a coincidence that the other 2 that were here both had repaired hoods?
Appleford Victorian Lampbox
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