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The post boxes of Headington in 2015


Originally the three village post offices of Headington (Old Headington, Quarry, and Highfield) would each have had a letter box (as post boxes were then usually known). Otherwise the 1899 Ordnance Survey map of Headington shows just one letter box marked L.B., at the south end of Osler Road. This would obviously have been a Victorian box, but it had already been removed by 1921, when the only box in Headington not attached to a post office was the wall box in St Andrew's Road, probably installed in compensation for the fact that the village's post office had moved up to the London Road, where Caffè Nero is now.

Headington's post boxes can be roughly dated by looking at the royal cipher:
GR = George V (1910–1936)
G VI R = George VI (1936–1952)
E II R = Elizabeth II (since 1952).
No post boxes earlier than the reign of George V survive in Headington.

In March 2015 the Headington area had 40 postboxes (19 pillar boxes, 11 wall boxes, and 10 on pedestals).


(1) Pillar boxes (George V, George VI, and Elizabeth II)

The three oldest pillar boxes in Headington are the George V ones in Risinghurst, Grays Road, and New High Street, all made by the Carron Company, Stirlingshire: the first has the company name on the front, and the other two on the back.

There are four George VI pillar boxes, Westlands Drive, Brampton Road, and on the London Road near Ramsay Road: again they are by the Carron Company, with the name on the back.

The other thirteen pillar boxes in Headington all date from the reign of Elizabeth II. Three near the end are in a modern style (Underhill Circus, Eden Drive, and Bowness Road) and have no attribution; and the double pillar box outside Headington Post Office is the only one that has “ROYAL MAIL” rather than “POST OFFICE” inscribed on it, showing that it dates from 1994 or later.

George V pillar boxes

Grays Road
Grays Road
near London Road
George V
New High Street
New High Street
north end
George V
Risinghurst
Risinghurst Post Office
Downside Road
George V
London Rd near Ramsay Rd
London Road,
near Ramsay Road
George VI

George VI pillar boxes

Humfrey Road
Humfrey Road
Barton
George VI
Westlands Drive
Westlands Drive
Northway
George VI
Brampton Road
Brampton Road
Barton
George VI
Cinnaminta Road
Cinnaminta Road
near The Slade
Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II old-style pillar boxes
Franklin Road
Franklin Road
opp Fortnam Close
Elizabeth II
Headington Road
Headington Road
near White Horse
Elizabeth II
Roundway
The Roundway
shops
Elizabeth II
Gladstone Road
Gladstone Road
opp. community centre
Elizabeth II
Barton Village Road
Barton Village Road
Barton
Elizabeth II
Atkins Road
Atkins Road
Wood Farm Post Office
Elizabeth II
Titup
Titup Hall Drive
Wood Farm, nr Old Rd
Elizabeth II
Upway Road
Upway Road
Northway
Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II new-style pillar boxes
Eden Drive
Eden Drive
near Bowness Ave
Elizabeth II
Windmill Road
Windmill Road,
near Bateman Street
Elizabeth II
Underhill Circus
Underhill Circus
Barton
Elizabeth II
There are also
plastic indoor
pillar boxes inside
Headington's
hospitals, and
(since 2016)
inside the Co-op
near the Post
Office counter
Elizabeth II double box
Post Office London Road
London Road,
outside former Post Office
Elizabeth II
 
(2) Wall boxes (George V, George VI, and Elizabeth II, all pre-1980)

By far the greatest style of post box used in Headington is the wall box. None were made after 1980, when wall boxes ceased to be installed and were replaced by boxes on poles (see below).

The seven George V wall boxes are by Andrew Handyside & Co. of Derby (Sandfield Road), Derby Castings Ltd (St Andrew's Road and Beaumont Road), and the rest are by W. T. Allen of London. Early boxes by W. T. Allen (1910–1925) have a smaller GR cipher set much higher on the door (see the Valentia Road and Rock Edge boxes).

There is just on George VI wall box, at the top of Headington Hill: this was made by W. T. Allen

The three Elizabeth II ones at Osler Road, Cheney Lane, and Pullen's Lane are by the Carron Company in Falkirk.

Sandfield Road
Sandfield Road
east side
George V
St Andrew's Road
St Andrew's Road
near Old High Street
George V
Beaumont Road
Beaumont Road
Quarry
George V
Valentia Road
Valentia Road
south end
George V
Rock Edge
Rock
Edge
George V
Dunstan Road
Dunstan Road
near Ruskin College
George V
Jack Straw's Lane
Jack Straw's
Lane
George V
Headington Hill Hall
Headington Road
near the Hall
George VI
Osler Road
Osler Road
near Cuckoo Lane
Elizabeth II
Cheney Lane
Cheney
Lane
Elizabeth II
Pullen's Lane
Pullen's
Lane
Elizabeth II
 
(3) Lamp boxes on pedestals (all Elizabeth II, and post-1980 to 2012)

Post boxes are no longer fitted to walls, and since 1980 lamp boxes have been used. As the name suggests, these could be fitted to lamp-posts or telegraph poles, but the ones in Headington all stand on their own pedestal.

The first six lamp boxes shown here are all inscribed “POST OFFICE” and so date from before 1994. Of these six, the first five were made by the Carron Company, Stirlingshire, and the sixth, at Dora Carr Close, was made by Abbot Engineering.

The first lamp box shown below, in Hawthorn Avenue, is sealed up and out of use.

The last four lamp boxes are inscribed “ROYAL MAIL” and so date from 1994 onwards. Of these, the first two were made by Machan Engineering, another Scottish company. The second pair, in Glebelands and Sandhills, are of a different modern design.

The lamp box near Barrington Close was erected in 2012 to replace the wall box that was lost when the old Highfield Post Office building on the south side of All Saints Road was demolished (newspaper article). 

Hawthorn Road
Hawthorn Road
[closed]
London Road, near Sikh Temple
London Road NE
near Sikh Temple
Wick Farm
Wick Farm
Park
Atkinson Close
Atkinson Close
Barton
Margaret Road
Margaret Road
near recreation ground
Dora Carr Close
Dora Carr Close
Northway
Green Ridges
Green Ridges
Barton
All Saints Road
All Saints Road
near Barrington Close
Glebelands
Glebelands
Lye Valley
Sandhills
Hosker Close, Sandhills
off Merewood Ave

  
 

© Stephanie Jenkins

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