Post boxes

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The evolution of post box
design in Jersey


Although the postal system had been underway for a long time, collection boxes in the streets were newly introduced in 1852, copying the idea from the continent, Jersey being the
testbed for the British Isles

The first pillar boxes, made by John Vaudin, were opened on 23 November 1852 at

  • David Place: Nearly opposite the Rectory (near Val Plaisant)
  • New Street: In front of Mr Fry's, painter and glazier
  • Cheapside: Top of the Parade (or Elizabeth Place as it is now)
  • St Clement's Road: Corner of Plaisance (now the entrance to Howard Davis Park)


These first boxes have all gone from Jersey. Now the earliest box is in the Central Market, an 1866 John Penfold design

Prior to 1859 there was no standard colour. In 1859 a bronze green colour became standard so as not to appear too obtrusive in the landscape. So effective was this that complaints were received by people having difficulty finding them. The Post Office investigated alternative colours and initially settled on chocolate brown. This required an extra coat of varnish however, so proved more expensive than an alternative suggestion of bright red. The new colour was introduced in London in July 1874 and it took 10 years to complete the programme of repainting.

From 1879 to 1905 pillar-boxes were made by the "Andrew Handyside" foundry in Derby. These boxes are easily distinguished by the two protruding ornimental rings around the top of the box, above the door.

The earliest Handyside boxes had no Royal Cypher and are known as "anonymous" boxes, such as this one at the Living Legend, which is also early and unusual with its 'high aperture'.

As Wikipedia says, "the original design was prone to communications becoming caught under the rim of the cap. This was solved by lowering the aperture so that it falls centrally between the two raised beading lines."

Jersey's Victorian wall boxes sport manufacturers names such as "Eagle Range & Foundry Co, Birmingham" (St Mary's Church and Flicquet), "Smith & Hawkes of Birmingham" (St Saviour's Church, Rue D'Aval, Gorey Hill, La Route de St Jean), "Bernard P Walker of Eagle" (Mont Pinel) - all three variations were from the same factory in Birmingham; it just changed hands rather frequently during this period.

Edward VII

George V

George VI

Elizabeth II

Some more postbox pictures

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