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Non-food shops, early 20th century

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Posting mail in Victorian and Edwardian Britain

By the webmaster’s mother, 1906-2002

My mother's written recollections of life in her childhood in the early 1900s described the postmen and telegraph boys of the period, but did not mention the post office or posting letters. I have tried to discover what Edwardian post offices and post boxes were like from museums, old books and pictures. This page illustrates what I have discovered so far. If you can add anything or correct a misunderstanding, do please let me know.

In the early 1900s, which were Edwardian times, the post offices and post boxes would have been much as they were in Victorian times. I have certainly found Edwardian stamps, but not yet an Edwardian post box.

The Victorian/Edwardian Post Office

A lot of information can be gleaned from old pictures. If you can can highlight some, please contact me.

Front of life-size reproduction Edwardian Post Office in Milestones Museum, Basingstoke.

Life-size reproduction Edwardian Post Office in Milestones Museum, Basingstoke.

Inside a late Victorian or Edwardian Post Office

Inside a late Victorian or Edwardian Post Office - a picture from an old book in my mother's effects.

A museum model of a post boy collecting a parcel for delivery in Victorian or Edwardian Britain

Model of a post boy collecting a parcel for delivery - photographed in Milton Keynes Museum.

Where is his cap?

Victorian post boxes still in use in Edwardian times

There were post boxes on street corners and in other convenient places, so that people did not have to go to the Post Office.

Victorian or Edwardian 
free-standing pillar box/post box

A Victorian pillar box / post box - photographed in Fagans Museum of Welsh Life.

VR scroll on Victorian post boxes, standing 
for Victoria Regina

The decorative scroll half-way up the letter box is actually the initials VR entwined. They stand for Victoria Regina. 'Regina' is the official title for a Queen.

Posting a letter in a Victorian letter box

Posting a letter in a Victorian post box, still in use in the early 20th Century. From a magazine in my mother's effects.

Posting a letter in a Victorian or Edwardian post box

Posting a letter in a Victorian post box - detail from a picture in Fagans Museum of Welsh Life.

Two examples of green Victorian post boxes

Interestingly not all Victorian post boxes were red. These photographed in Bath Postal Museum were dark green.

Edward VII penny postage stamp

Edwardian postage stamp


If you can add anything to this page or provide a photo, I would be pleased if you would contact me.


Page based on the recollections and notes of the webmaster's mother (1906-2002) with additional research and editorial work by the webmaster

Text and images are copyright


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