Rare Victorian postbox hit by vehicle

The postbox - at an odd angle
The postbox - at an odd angle

A postbox which has stood in Eastbourne for 128 years was hit in a road collision on Friday, causing it to lean on its side in a precarious position.

The Victorian pillar box, which stands at the junction of The Avenue and St Anne’s Road, was knocked on Friday (May 8), at about 3pm.

Lionel Jones, Eastbourne postal historian, said, “The item mistreated was one of only three of its sub type remaining in Eastbourne, and to have been cast at the Brittannia Ironworks of Andrew Handyside in Derby between the years of 1879 and 1892.

“It is special to local historians as it is one of only five surviving pillar letter boxes in Eastbourne which are termed “anonymous” simply because they have no Royal cypher cast into them.

“Unlike a sixth survivor of the anonymous type which stood at the junction of Landsdowne Terrace and King Edward’s Parade until the early 1980s when it was smashed in a similar motoring incident, box number 768 appears not to have been cracked by the impact.

“However, leaning as it does could well topple and be smashed and if it is replaced by Royal Mail the replacement will be a modern style QE2 type.”

Mr Jones asked anyone with information or photographs concerning incident involving the postbox to contact him on 01323 734562.

A Royal Mail spokeswoman Sally Hopkins said, “We can confirm that a vehicle hit the postbox on the corner of The Avenue and St Anne’s Road in Eastbourne on Friday May 8.

“The box itself was not damaged and is still in use. We are checking it daily to ensure it continues to be safe to use and to collect from. We expect to have it back standing upright, and the surrounding ground repaired, within the next few days.”

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