Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Postboxes on St Peter's Square

This double-fronted postbox is located outside the former Prudential building in St Peter's Square. The postboxes are labelled SK1 386 (left) and SK1 385 (right). On the right is a postbox for "franked mail" only.

This view is from the other side looking past the statue of Richard Cobden towards St Peter's Church. For more information about St Peter's Church see our post dated 16th June 2013. For more information and a better view of the statue see my photograph on Geograph.

The distinctive business postbox for franked mail was introduced in the mid-1990s. Before the advent of such boxes, franked mail could not be posted in a letter box and thus had to be handed in at a post or sorting office unless the business had a visit from the postman. (The reason for this is that ordinary stamped mail would be sent to the sorting office and postmarked, whereas franked mail is already dated by the sender's franking machine.)

Because it is designed for business mail, it is found usually in business parks and industrial estates or in areas of town which are heavily occupied by businesses – and has relatively late final collection times.

It is opened by pulling down the black handle on the sliding opening, and when the final collection of the day is made it will be locked shut and reopened the next weekday morning (including Saturday if the box has a Saturday collection). This is because, as franked mail is dated by the customer rather than at the sorting office, it must be posted on the same day as the date indicated on the franked impression. By accepting later items which would not be collected till the following day, it would give the false impression that Royal Mail had taken a day longer to deliver the item. Information courtesy of Chris Downer.

More information about "franking" can be found on the Royal Mail website.

A contribution to Ruby Tuesday and Our World Tuesday.


  1. We do have business mail here, of course, but we've never had seperate drop offs for them. I like that double fronted post box. It has character.

  2. Red is always a great eye catches! Great photos with the European flair for OWT!

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

  3. Very regal repositories for the mail. Perfect images for a Ruby Tuesday. Well done.

  4. Not the most beautiful of designs and whoever was responsible for painting it needs a bit of a refresher course.

  5. These red post boxes are great! In Austria they are all yellow, smaller and very simple in design! :)