It is, he said, faded and defaced. It’s little companion coin-in-the-slot stamp dispenser empty and forgotten.
This is a ‘GR’ pillar – that’s George the Sixth – which dates the letterbox to the 1930’s.
Meanwhile, I was dismayed to see a much earlier and rarer box looking in a similar sorry state on Great Pulteney Street.
This time it’s the ‘Penfold Hexagonal’ – a letter box dating from the reign of Queen Victoria and designed by a man called J.W.Penfold. It is now bearing the efforts of a passing fly-poster.
These decorative boxes were made in Birmingham and installed between 1866 and 1879. There is another towards Pulteney Bridge on Laura Place.
Here’s a black and white image of the Pulteney Street pillar being emptied by postman Keith Costello back in 1970.
The image is now part of the excellent Bath In Time collection and l was interested to read how the box might have been removed if Chubb the Locksmiths had not made a new lock for it!
It is great to think the pillar box is still in use – despite the fact not everyone respects its unique place on this street. Bath also has a Postal Museum and you can find out more via http://www.bathpostalmuseum.co.uk