Penfold designed the original post box in 1852, the first one being in the Channel Isles. When the railways were introduced, people travelled more, were more affluent and educated and began writing to each other. The first postboxes were green, changed later to red. There were free standing pillar boxes,a nd wall boxes which were much cheaper to produce. John showed us photographs of lamp boxes which were attached to gas lamps.
The only locks ever used in post boxes are Chubb ones, their trademark is a fish.
WT Allen also produced a lot of postboxes. Royal Mail have sold quite a few of their postboxes as they failed to operate properly in some way, maybe the locks stopped working, or the doors leaked. If bought, they have to be hung away from the thoroughfare and painted black or green to show they are not in use.
The British Postal Museum and Archive is on the Debden Industrial Estate in Loughton, Essex, their premises are too small, and they did consider relocating to Swindon 5 years ago. There is a very good postal museum in Bath, and some of the best postboxes are to be found in Cheltenham. There is also a very old postbox in Dunster.
John brought along 4 postboxes: