A Post Box

The Post Office receives a lot of bad press periodically in this country, and no more so than recently after the huge price increase in the cost of stamps, but I still think it is a fairly remarkable thing.

Just look at this post box: cemented into a grass topped wall, not quite in the middle of nowhere, but definitely off the beaten path, most likely installed sometime before 1901, given the VR insignia, indicating the reign of Queen Victoria.  And yet I was able to post my rented CDs in it and for them to be received at the Lovefilm depot the following morning in time for them to update my online account.  It’s immediately identifiable; where else do we so immediately associate a colour with a function?  It’s old technology, but it’s still watertight (I assume) and reasonably secure.  It’s a classic and needs no updating.

What kind of story might be told of all the things that have been posted in the box since it was installed?  What love letters, job applications, literary submissions, competition entries, valentines and birthday cards, letters of complaints, book tokens?  Several monarchs heads would have adorned the stamps affixed to the letters posted.  How many times has it been unlocked and emptied?  Did the first postman to collect from it arrive on foot, on a bicycle, on a horse, in a cart?

There’s one of those time lapse stories to tell, something that shows the passing of the seasons, when we see the grass grow and then die back, and the wall bathed in light, lashed with rain and then blanketed in snow; if we could see the people passing by, hemlines would go up and down, hairstyles would come and go, lapels and ties would widen and shrink.

Maybe another day…..

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