The current red phone box in Sea Mills Square no longer has a phone inside and has been adopted by Sea Mills Community Initiatives. As part of the Sea Mills 100 heritage project it will be converted into a mini museum which will open in June 2019 and stay for a year. If you would like to help please get in touch.
The current phone box is a K6 designed by Gilbert Scott and introduced in 1936 to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of King George V
Previously there was another phone box on this site. It has features similar to a K1 Mark 235 or K1 Mrk 236, which was made of concrete, they were first used in 1922 which would be right for the origins of the estate.
Photo: Vaughan postcard know your place
There was also another phone box at one time at the other end of St Edyths Road by the Pentagon which looks more like the later K6. Does anyone remember that?
Photo: Postcard, collection of Mary Milton
Incidentally. Do we think this is the Addison Oak? Or is that further back?
UPDATE: We can be sure now that the tree in the black and white photo above is definitely not the oak. You can see both trees in the later photo below.
A lot of the street furniture in Sea Mills dates back to the origins of the estate. It turns out some of it is pretty unusual too. Most pilar boxes have the initials of the reigning monarch on them which also helps to date them. Indeed most of the pillar boxes on the estate, like this one on the corner of East Parade include George V’s initials 1910 – 1936.
As the estate started to be built in 1919 is what you would expect.
However the pillar box on the Pentagon has no initials and was made by a company in Scotland. What is the story behind this one?
According to wikivisually.com this is a 1950’s pillar box made for use in Scotland.
“In Scotland there were protests when the first boxes made in the reign of Elizabeth II were produced. These bore the cypher “E II R” but there were objections because Queen Elizabeth is the first Queen of Scotland and of the United Kingdom to bear that name, Elizabeth I having been Queen of England only. After several E II R pillar boxes were blown up by improvised explosive devices, the General Post Office (as it was at that time) replaced them with ones which only bore the Crown of Scotland and no royal cypher.”
How did this post box, which also features the crown of Scotland come to be on a corner in Sea Mills?
UPDATE: A couple of long standing local residents remember the post box being vandalised about twenty years ago and replaced. This seems a likely explanation for why it’s different to the others on the estate. Perhaps Royal Mail just had this Scottish one spare to re-use?