UK Postboxes in 2023
One thing that people in the UK seem to enjoy  discussing is our various postboxes which are marked with royal cyphers, so I wanted to look at a few things.
I am not asking for clarifications or a yes/no, despite posting here, but thought it was probably the right place for it and to try and make some kind of timeline of threads that discuss it, and some details about official views from Historic England & Royal Mail, and allow for some discussion with links and images.
Post Offices are mentioned in the original OPR guide, but not Post Boxes - https://community.wayfarer.nianticlabs.com/discussion/23082/opr-candidate-action-guide-a-wayfarer-history-lesson
The earliest I can find is when a question was asked during an Ingress AMA, before Wayfarer was Wayfarer and was OPR.
This was revisited by the person who raised the query;
where @NianticCasey-ING noted;
However, the debate about which cyphers are eligible and not still continued.
Historic England & Royal Mail recognises that some post boxes have greater historical significance than others (https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/royal-mail-post-boxes/heritage-agreement-for-royal-mail-post-boxes/) in a joint policy heritage agreement they did;
which we are of coursed asked about during a review.
As mentioned, the debate continued still with many many threads to the point where they even took over the weekend trailmarker joke and even information about how many postboxes there are for each monarch, including Queen Elizabeth II.
(Numbers may be slightly off as based on 2015, and some postboxes would have been replaced)
Taken from the previously mentioned document from Historic England.
It is worth noting to non-UK reviewers that E II R postboxes will, in most cases only have a Scottish Crown logo in Scotland but these are the same as the regular E II R ones across the UK. If you're curious, look up Pillar Box War
Then, of course in September 2022 the monarch at the time, Queen Elizabeth II fell ill and sadly passed away. Unfortunately many used this opportunity to leap at the chance to submit a postbox with her cypher on claiming it was now acceptable as she had passed.
I shared my own view in that thread at the time, and still believe this to be the case.
Also discussed was the first C III R postbox, which has not yet been placed (to my knowledge) but would be of large cultural significance (there will be news stories about it) so I would personally rate that well for that section in a review.
I'll close out this long post of images & threads with this scan about the first Pillar Boxes from Historic England's document. Be nice to each other when discussing, and await the next very UK specific thread!
Just no with EiiR and Scottish Crown postboxes, yes Queen Elizabeth had passed but 80,000+ generic street furniture would not meet any criteria.
They don’t encourage exercise, they aren’t a place to be social and are not somewhere I’d take a visitor.
Plus, these exist on nearly every Main Street. This is wayfarer, not Postperson Go/Gress/Bloom.
One thing that people from other countries might not realize is that postboxes in the UK are actually fairly special. The document from Historic England states that , "Post boxes make a significant contribution to the character and appearance of the areas in which they are located", and as such they are protected in the same way listed buildings are. The traditional pillar boxes are built of iron, hand finished and made to last. There's a reason why if you go into any shop that sells tourist rubbish they will have keyrings and fridge magnets of postboxes. They are certainly iconic, which sort of makes sense in a country known globally by its reputation for queuing.
They definitely have an iconic status.
They still don't meet any of the three criteria though.
It looks there were originally about 300 penfold boxes with 250 still on the streets. 150 are original and 100 are the replicas introduced in the 1980's, none of the penfolds in Scotland are original.
To tell if a "Penfold" is original or replica look at the plinth area at the front, if you see the Cochrane name it is original, the replicas have wording on a plate at the base that states it is a replica by Machan Engineering, with the date 1988. The plates on the replicas often fall off, so sometimes it can be difficult to decide if a box is original or replica.
Here is a nice one on the Canongate in Edinburgh.
Nice design, rare, Victorian, aesthetically pleasing....nah **** 1988
is a filtered word.. :/
Personally I would only consider VR (3*), E8R (5* never seen one), E7R (3*) and Gold Olympic Boxes (5*). The rest are just rubbish and it amazes me how many get through. A relatively new E2R one has recently made it into the database near where I live. I also don't really see how Post Offices meet criteria either but at least they are mentioned in the official guidelines. My experience is you join a queue get served by a surly jobsworth who doesn't really want to be there then you leave. Hardly a great place to socialise, exercise or explore.
I think it's mostly a transfer from the OPR guide of;
ACCEPT. Connects and unites people around the world.
I have seen some people being very sociable at a Post Office, especially on pension days. Always curse myself if I have forgotten and get stuck in a queue.
Post boxes are not protected in the same way listed buildings are. Only the rarest and oldest postboxes have been given legal protection via listing, because the others are incredibly common.
UK wayfarers have perverted the criteria so that the generic post box of 1930s suburban sprawl has somehow become "featured wayspots".
Yet when Niantic review them, they are rejected.
There is no need to over-complicate things. Just continue how we have been with E II R's being rejected and new Charles box's not considered historic so also being rejected.
Even if the criteria over the postbox changed, Niantic do not have any way to educate all the voters of any changes in criteria, so most voters will continue voting how they have on them in the past.
Any changes would cause a mess and a roll of the dice on each submission as to if it hit enough voters aware of any changes. Then posts about seeing other x postbox in their area but theirs gets rejected etc
Keep it simple...no changes