Royal Mail

Pillar Boxes




Lilian Young

Hamilton Square, New Jersey, USA

Thank you to Lilian Young who wrote:

Guarding the Pillar Boxes

"I remember the letter boxes - we used to call them pillar boxes. I recall that when our present Queen took the title of Elizabeth II there was some feelings against the II ** and several pillar boxes were damaged so postal workers were set to guard them

My Uncle, the late Charles Edward Hercus, was assigned as a guard for one of the hated "II" boxes and we were so afraid that he would be hurt, but fortunately for us he was okay"

Lilian Young, Hamilton Square, New Jersey, England:  :  March 26, 2012

**  QEII Pillar Boxes

I've added a brief note about the "Queen Elizabeth I .v. Queen Elizabeth II" controversy at the end of the page that you'll be taken to if you click on this thumbnail image:

Dundas Street, Pillar Box and Cars  -  November 2010

Thank you to Rodney Marshall for sending me an article by Chris Williams (published in the Letter Box Study Group Newsletter, Summer 2011) about the first pillar box to be installed in Scotland with a QEII cypher.  This box was at The Inch, Newington, Edinburgh.

Here are some brief extracts from the article

-  The pillar box was unveiled in a ceremony on Nov 18, 1952.

-  The service was reported the following day in the Glasgow Herald

-  The Scottish Covenant Association (SCA) objected to the numeral 'II'.

-   By 30 Nov, tar had been smeared on the box, obscuring the II.

-  On 6 Dec, an envelope containing gelignite was posted in the box.

-  On 9 Dec, an SCA spokesman condemned illegal activities at the box.

-  On 7 Feb the box received several blows with a 7 lb hammer.

-  On 10 Dec, the door and cypher were repaired, and the box replaced.

-  On 12 Dec, the box was destroyed by a gelignite bomb; no injuries.

-  On 14 Dec, a replacement box, without the QEII cypher was installed.

-  From around Sep 1953, a new design of pillar box began to be installed in Scotland.  This had a Scottish Crown, but no QEII cypher.

Acknowledgement:  Rodney Marshall, Luton, Bedfordshire, England:  June 8, 2011




Will Steel

Leeds, Wet Yorkshire, England

Will Steel wrote:


Gilmerton, Edinburgh

Pillar Box Bombing

"I am producing a short film for BBC's 'The One Show' about the pillar box war, following the change of the insignia on post boxes in Scotland in 1952.  The filming is planned for February 14, 2013.

The film will focus on the bombing of the pillar box in Gilmerton Road in Edinburgh, and I am trying to find people who remember this.

Do you know anyone who might remember this attack?  Any archive relating to this incident and to the pillar box war as a whole would be wonderful.

Will Steel:  Real Live Media Productions Ltd., Leeds, West Yorkshire, England:
January 15+16, 2013

Reply to Will Steel?

If you think you might be able to help Will with his research and would like to contact him, please email me, then I'll pass his email address on to you.

Will Steel:  Real Live Media Productions Ltd., Leeds, West Yorkshire, England




Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Thank you to Allan Dodds for being the first person to send a reply to Will Steel's Question in 'Recollections 2' above.

Alan wrote:

"Hi there Will!

I don't recall any exact reportage of the incident, but I do remember the Nationalist song that was around at the time, called 'The Scottish Break Away'.

It began:

'Elizabeth, Elizabeth the wan
Elizabeth oor Queen
How can there be a second Liz
When the first yin's never been.'

I think that Alex Campbell recorded a version of it but my favourite was sung in an upstairs room in The World's End pub, High Street, Edinburgh.  (That was long before the World's End murders.)

The song (or at least a verse of it) would make a nice sound-track to your film."

 Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

I've now passed on Allan Dodds' reply above to Will Steel.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  January 16, 2013


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