Last year there was a flurry of correspondence in Irish newspapers about the national postal service’s tendency to remove charming old post boxes without notice and substitute drearily standardised replacements. Well here is one that has so far survived the attentions of An Post. Set into a stone wall in front of the former Church of Ireland parish church (now a private residence) in Drumcree, County Westmeath, the box’s two initials indicate it dates from the time of George V, the last British monarch to claim authority in this part of the country.
Thank you for this, as for so many other posts.
Was George V really our last King I wonder? The Irish government did find themselves, however reluctantly, obliged to ratify the Abdication of Edward VIII and the Accession of George VI after all.
I concede that even you will be hard pressed to find the monogram of either of the said monarchs on any of our post boxes – but you have surprised (and delighted) us so often before
You’re right, I could probably have phrased my remark more carefully regarding George V and his successor(s) but for reasons of brevity…
As for the monogram, I have often speculated whether this box originated in Ireland or was placed here later (also, I wonder if it should not be GI since George V was Emperor of India, rather than GR). I’m happy to take direction on this one from any latter-day Walter Bagehots (with specific knowledge of Ireland).
The last king of what is now the Republic of Ireland was King George VI. Up to the declaration of the Republic in 1948/49, King George VI was officially Head of State. So, between 1937 [new Constitution] and 1948/49 Ireland had a President and a Monarch.
But I’m not sure Ireland had any new postboxes with the monarch’s initials during this period?
I remember photographing St John’s church Drumcree in the late 1990’s prior to its conversion into a residential dwelling and have no recollection of seeing a red postbox set into the wall of the church. I suspect this one was purchased in England in a salvage yard and inserted into the wall by the present owners. I don’t think there are any red postboxes in use by the Irish postoffice by … but I may be wrong!
Or you may be right. I have seen this postbox in the wall for many years but don’t know its origins.
Maybe it’s time for a Directory of Pre-Republic post boxes.There is a fine one at the gates of the Cathedral Church of the Annunciation and St Nathy,Ballaghaderreen.
There’s also a lovely free-standing one on the corner of Ludlow Street and Church Hill in Navan, altho’ on a Sunday morning it’s usually surrounded by broken beer bottles from nearby pubs…
They used to have wonderful red pillar and wall type post boxes here in Hong Kong where I am currently staying, before the handover in 1997. I was very keen to buy one from the GPO, but alas never succeeded. I wonder what happened to them all. Hong Kong Post which replaced the system has a rather unattractive green. I did manage to send a post card to myself, (with a stamp with the Queen’s head) on 30 June 1997, which was the last day Hong Kong was a British territory, which arrived on 1 July, its first day as part of China again.
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