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Edward VIII Post Box, excluding pouch, Nithsdale Drive, Glasgow

A Category B Listed Building in Pollokshields, Glasgow

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.8383 / 55°50'17"N

Longitude: -4.2686 / 4°16'7"W

OS Eastings: 258027

OS Northings: 662889

OS Grid: NS580628

Mapcode National: GBR 0HV.SW

Mapcode Global: WH3P8.DJK5

Entry Name: Edward VIII Post Box, excluding pouch, Nithsdale Drive, Glasgow

Listing Date: 16 February 2018

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 406940

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB52465

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Govan

County: Glasgow

Electoral Ward: Pollokshields

Parish: Govan

Traditional County: Lanarkshire

Description

The post box on Nithsdale Drive was made by the Carron Company, Stirlingshire (embossed signature), and was erected in 1936. It is a columnar cast iron pillar box with a swept frieze under a shallow domed cap and dentilled at the rim. The base is painted black with a red painted shaft above. The door, with cup handle and lock to the right (west), bears the cipher 'EVIIIR' in raised gothic lettering, with a crown above and 'Post Office' embossed below. There is a rectangular opening for letters above. The words 'Next Collection' are embossed, to the left above the letter opening.

In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following are excluded from the listing: pouch.

Statement of Interest

Like the K6 telephone boxes, letter boxes are an iconic piece of street furniture in Scotland and the United Kingdom and are recognised internationally. While a very large number of post boxes survive, the example at Nithsdale Drive is one of a very small number of boxes dating from the short reign of Edward VIII surviving in Scotland.

Age and Rarity

The pillar post box situated on Nithsdale Drive in Glasgow is one of very few remaining unaltered post boxes cast during the brief 325 day reign of Edward VIII. The later metal pouch (attached to the west) is not considered to be of interest in listing terms.

Ordnance Survey map evidence suggests that the location of this post box moved from an earlier position on the corner of Pollokshaws Road and Nithsdale Drive after 1938. A letter box first appears in this position in the Ordnance Survey map, surveyed 1909/10. The letter box remains on Pollokshaws Road on the Ordnance Survey map surveyed in 1938.

A total of 271 letter boxes were made in 1936, of which 161 were of the pillar box type. The Letter Box Study Group (see www.lbsg.org) have identified 171 boxes in total surviving from this period. There is a relatively small number of surviving examples of Edward VIII pillar post boxes in Scotland, of which nine are listed with three are located in Glasgow (2017).

The Royal Mail letter box was introduced following the reforms of the Postal Act of 1839. Rowland Hill was a social reformer who championed a single postage rate, paid for in advance, for any standard weight letters. Hill s postal reform model led to the creation of post offices and roadside letter boxes in all towns and villages in the country and standardised the cost of sending letters. The first free standing pillar box in the United Kingdom was introduced in 1852 in Jersey, the Channel Islands, and the boxes were extended to mainland Britain by 1853. The first cylindrical design pillar box was cast in 1879. The royal cipher forms part of the branding of the post box and the current monarch s monogram is normally added to every box erected during their reign. Exceptions to this include Scottish boxes erected from 1952 onwards, where the Scottish crown is used in place of the royal cipher.

After the abdication of Edward VIII on 11 December 1936, the majority of the post boxes that bore his royal cipher had their doors replaced with ones bearing that of George VI. However the doors on pillar boxes were predominantly left unaltered. While post boxes are not rare, this example in Nithsdale Drive is considered to be a rare survival of a post box that had a limited term of production and is significant for its association to notable historical event in British modern history.

Architectural or Historic Interest

Interior

N/A

Plan form

The plan form is circular, which is typical of this for this post box type.

Technological excellence or innovation, material or design quality

The pillar box on Nithsdale Drive is a cylindrical type B letter box. It is made of cast iron and was manufactured by renowned Scottish iron foundry Carron Company. Of the pillar boxes there are two types – A (large pillar) and B (small pillar). The pillar box at Nithsdale Drive is of Type B design. It is a standard design (first appearing in 1879) with a height of 64 inches and a circumference of 48 inches (see www.lbsg.org).

The pillar box has some functional design features that are of interest. The embossed words next collection , also found on many types of post boxes, is located alongside a holder for a small panel near the letter slit. The postman was expected to change each collection to indicate when the box was last emptied and when the next clearance was due. This feature was first introduced on Type A and B pillar boxes and the large size wall boxes in 1905. The letter openings are part of the door itself, and not separate, as had been the case with earlier boxes. Furthermore, the dentilled design feature around the cap of the pillar box is to facilitate rainwater run-off.

The Carron Company was one of the major suppliers of letter boxes during the twentieth century for the General Post Office. From their foundry in Stirlingshire they cast pillar boxes (from 1922), wall boxes (from 1952) and lamp boxes (from 1969 to 1982) (see www.lbsg.org).

The Carron Company was established in 1759 near Falkirk, Stirlingshire, and became one of the most prominent and largest iron works in Europe during the 19th century. They became famous for their decorative ironwork products and for producing munitions in both World Wars. They were one of several foundries in the UK that produced pillar boxes for the post office, and one of five foundries that cast Giles Gilbert Scott s iconic design of red telephone boxes. The company became insolvent in 1982.

Setting

The post box was moved to its current location in Nithsdale Road after 1938. It is located in a built up urban setting and positioned in front of early 20th century tenements (not listed).

Regional variations

There are no known regional variations.

Close Historical Associations

There are no known associations with a person or event of national importance at present (2017).

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