Saturday, June 06, 2020

Post Boxes

No name on this post box.
I have started to notice things about my neighbourhood, while I am confined to a 5km distance from home during lockdown, that I did not notice before. Dotted around our roads are various post boxes of different shapes and sizes. I started taking pictures while out walking - I show a selection below. 

When Ireland was part of the UK, we obviously followed the tradition of naming our post boxes after the king or queen of England, and painting them red. The first post boxes in Ireland had Victoria's name until 1901 - a simple V R (Victoria Regina). This was followed by Edward VII between 1901 and 1910 - as you can see below there were two different types for Edward Rex. George V was the last king we had here, so post boxes with his name appeared between 1910 and 1921. 

Following independence in 1921, we had no need of such royal insignia, even though the king was nominally our head of state. In 1922, one of the first acts of the new Irish Government was to order that all post boxes be painted green - even though the royal insignia could be clearly seen. One of my favourite post boxes is on Booterstown Avenue - it has a Saorstát Éireann (sé) insignia. This is not as clear as some of the others, and to me it looks like it was either stamped over a royal insignia or in a blank box like the one above. The final one below features p 7 t (Post and Telegraph). The 7 like symbol is shorthand for "agus" - it has a name. It is called a "Tironian et". The Dept of Posts and Telegraphs ceased to exist in 1984 when it as changed to Dept of Communications.

I need to get out more!

Edward VII

George V

Edward VII

Saorstát Éireann

Post and Telegraph

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