BB2102 : Postman
Pat's and Other Boxes
12th - Thursday 14th January 2021
story about Postboxes in the Kendal area
has to start with Postman Pat. His
creator, John Cunliffe, lived on Greenside;
that is up the hill from the Town Hall in Kendal
and close to The Rifleman's Arms pub. At
the west end of the terrace is, or rather was,
the Post Office where he was first introduced
to the life of a Postman going about his
work in Greendale.
when teaching at Castle Park Primary School,
a colleague, Molly Clifton, took him around
farms in the Kendal area, meeting her friends
who would become the inspiration for characters
in the Postman Pat series.
was Mike B's idea that we should
use Postboxes as the theme for
proposal was that participants should
undertake a walk, compliant with the latest Coronavirus law and guidance, of whatever level they like,
with whomever they like and wherever they feel comfortable.
challenge was to
capture as many postboxes with cyphers of different reigns as possible which should be posted live to
the group on WhatsApp as evidence.
right is what they would be
was first out of the box, so to speak. In
addition to bagging three reigns he found
two decommissioned boxes, shown later in
the "Bonus Box"
& I were next out.
thought our first box, next to the Punchbowl
at Barrows Green, was rather mundane: a
very modern E11R.
However, when Stephen advised that
the original and the bus shelter were taken
out by a car crash six years ago this box
suddenly took on a new meaning.
is at Beehive Lane. I confess that we didn't
actually visit it. We intended to
do so but realised that we would be passing
through two or more farmyards in order to
reach it without using the treacherous B6254
racetrack. Given the understandable
C-19 sensitivities of farmers at the present
time we didn't want to do that. Consequently
I think it reasonable to claim the box as
we could actually see it from the Back of
Helm road. Just. Can you spot
below is the same one but from an earlier
the railway station was another EIIR
and yet another along Burton Road. This
one has the remarkable daily collection
time of 9 a.m. most days but 7 a.m. on Sundays!
Glad I am not a postman.
Natland Post Office has a GR.
was intending to fill in the gaps on Wednesday
or Thursday. I knew where to go but
rain then sleet intervened. The VR above therefore
is a cheat from BB1117
and the GVIR
is a cheat from BB1836
! So, Tony, you can relax- I am only
claiming 3 and a distance of 5.2 miles.
T was with Cherrie. I thought
we might encounter them as at first it seemed from
their WhatsApp postings that they were doing
the same route as us but in reverse but
they weren't. Mike reports:
a late start we walked through Oxenholme (E11R) and then joined the North end
of The Helm eventually reaching Barrows Green (E11R). We headed SW across the
fields and emerged at the end of Halfpenny Lane on the A65 (E11R). Then onto
Sedgwick (GR) and home along the canal to Natland (GR). Circa 7 miles.
to post was Terry who was out
test of the road surface (not icy for a change) and we were off going down
Church Road. However as we started going down hill we hit ice and gingerly
shuffled our way to the Hare & Hounds. On the way noticing that the post
box, just past Hutchinsons joiners, has been taken away!
Dropping down to the
Old Road and turning right onto the Brigsteer Causeway, we followed our usual
exercise route, albeit very slowly due to the ice. Instead of turning right
into Lord's Plain Causeway we decided to continue on to Brigsteer and took a
short cut through to Parkend Lane and consequently missed the Brigsteer post
Walking back to Levens is not too safe on the road, so we took the path
through Brigsteer Woods and instead of sliding on the ice, we slipped on the
mud. Finally arriving back in Levens we bagged our one and only post box and
completed our 5.7 mile perambulation.
Fortunately the missing
box is still shown on Google Maps so I have
"captured" it for Terry and called
it a GR
which it or might not have been!
B set off on his electric bike, obviously
intending to cover a lot of ground. He reports;
A bright cold day. Most boxes were mundane
EIIR ones, but there was a VR at the Mason’s Arms, hidden round the sign by their dustbins. Can’t get used much but one day that would have been a much used road. The other highlight was an EVI1R at Witherslack Hall. Many people out walking and on bikes enjoying the calm before the storm. 22.4 miles on E-Byke…..
described by Stephen as the Pillar Box Master,
was expected to produce an outstanding result.
As it happens, he didn't tick all
the boxes (!) although
he did capture Postman Pat.
did just over 4 miles. Set off from home
across to Rinkfield to bag a GR down
to the Lound to get my E11R
out of the way. Into Kirkland, up Gillingate
to Greenside and Postman Pat. Across and
down Fellside into town via Sepulchre Lane
to the old police yard. On to Thorny Hills
for my VR
and along to the Tap then back via Fletcher
Park to home. My thoughts were that to find
the oldest boxes I need to be in the oldest
parts of the town.
Alas, I failed to bag
I know where a GVIR
is which I will claim by Thursday. I was
sure I'd be able to grab all five and emerge
triumphant but think I'll have to settle
for a miserable four as I can't for the
life of me find a EVIIR
in Kendal despite several hours of surfing.
I really need to get a life!
the inclement conditions, Tony
did venture forth on Thursday
to collect his GVIR .
He sent me a photo to
prove that he really had walked
there although I am not convinced
that the photo is compelling
evidence that he hadn't driven!
He certainly doesn't look
are actually seven categories in England
if you include the "Anonymous"
(only in use from 1879 to 1883 when the
royal crest was added) but as I assumed
that one of these would be impossible to
find the target was now realistically six
but further reduced to five as the only
in the county was in Barrow. Being the only
person (probably in the world) with an interest
in post boxes I had thought I would win hands
down by easily bagging all five plus Postman
Pat's box on Greenside.
permitted area is Settle.
blue sky but still treacherous underfoot and off to Giggleswick. Near the 17th
C Black Horse an E11R
in the wall. Then a stroll alongside the burbling Tems, past Lords,
Giggleswick’s cricket ground, to Hunters View and a GR box in the wall. At
Cammock Lane is a plain postbox. I WhatsApped it with the comment "No
monarch claiming this old box - who could
blame 'em?" Tony soon put me
right, saying "This
is a really rare one, being one of the earliest
in use from 1879 to 1883 from which date
they started to use the Royal Crest."
The next three were ordinary E11Rs, although the Hydro’s
churning Archimedian screw grabbed my attention as did sunlit snow-capped
Pen-y-Ghent on the horizon.
Into Market Square, thumbing its nose at pandemics
since 1249, to a rusty-topped classic GR pillar box.
The next, a smart new job
outside the Boxer & Hound Café, Holly’s favourite meeting place.
Then home beside
the rugby pitches (E11R)
and Upper Settle where the postbox (E11R sits next the phone box claimed to be the world’s
smallest public art gallery.
when things were starting to quieten down,
Stan struck with ten pictures. He
seemed to have visited every Post Box in
the centre of Kendal but sadly all E11Rs
was planning to do his search on Thursday.
He was wondering if he might find
knows the nearest is in Barrow but doesn't
fancy their infection rates. He adds
is another in Colne. Their rate is also
high but it's near to Turf Moor..... Clarets
have made it to the 5th round draw and only
played one match."
the day, he decided the weather was aginst
him so he used his
Postal History connections
for these two. Whern I expressed surprise
that the Irish were still using UK Monarchs,
it was explained to me that painting them
Irish green but retaining the crests was
to represent victory over the Brits.
B, our Florida Snowbird, sent us a rather
haven’t seen any of our (blue, non-royal)
mailboxes (or postboxes) on my walks with
the dogs. But I realized that, since
I can put mail in my own (receiving) mailbox
and the mailman will pick it up, this is
asked John to take a photo from the opposite
direction so that we can see where he lives.
does show where I live. The mailbox is on
the opposite side of the road so the mailman
only travels down the street once. Don’t
forget they are in vehicles, not on foot,
so all mailboxes are only on one side of
closing comments were:
the clear winner with the glorious bag of
an Anonymous and I'm happy to hand over
my self anointed Postmaster crown to him
on bended knee.
challenge was an innovative suggestion by
Mike B and I look forward to the next one,
Humbled, very humbled! Tony, you can arise now, but as it
is due to your superior PB knowledge, I feel the prize should be shared.
The Giggleswick / Kendalmans signpost in the Bonus Box
confirms a link between Settle and Kendal from the 17th to 19th
centuries and is a nod to the old cattle drovers’ track leading to a ford
across the Ribble and into town. Local historians record cattle driven from
Kendal (but possibly originating from as far north as Scotland) through Settle
to the Vale of York. Selling cattle along the way for use in the leather, glue
and horn trades as well as for food, the drovers underpinned prosperity for
many businesses including, notoriously, ale houses on the route.
was of course Rowland Hill who introduced
the Penny Post in 1840 but at that time
letters had to be taken to a Post Office
or have them collected by a Bellman.
first Postboxes in the UK were at the suggestion
of the novelist Anthony Trollop who in the
1850s was a Surveyor's Clerk for the Post
Office. He had seen road-side letter
boxes in France and Belgium and proposed
their use in Britain. Four cast iron
pillar boxes were installed in Jersey in
1852, a successful experiment that was taken
up on the mainland.
were red but in 1859 the colour was changed
to green so that they were deliberately
unobtrusive. However people complained that they
were difficult to find so a return to red
was specified in 1874.
is much more to be discovered at The
you want to know where postboxes are to
be found (any vintage) click on
Find Your Nearest Postbox.
began by suggesting that any story about Postboxes in
Kendal has to start with Postman Pat.
I'll conclude by stating that my story about Postboxes
in the Lake District requires tribute to
be paid to Jean and Martin Norgate.
In the course of preparation for this
event, I chanced upon their website Guides
to the Lakes. It
is amazing. Not only does it record, with description and photos, the locations
of a whole host of postboxes in the Lake
District, it covers a huge range of other
subjects from Airfields to Yew Trees, from
Bee Boles and Beer Mats to Weather Vanes
and Windmills and many, many more. In
total it appears to have over 25,000 webpages
(this site has about 1,000).
widowed, Jean has moved away from the area
but where did they used to live?
of course. Postman Pat's Greendale.
Thursday 14th January 2021