Postboxes in the UK

Let’s open this can of worms again now that the criteria has been refreshed. It’s often been said that postboxes are acceptable in the UK for their historical significance if they have cyphers on for older monarchs such as Queen Victoria.

Often, we see postboxes for the current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, come through Wayfarer and the consensus is to reject these as:

  • There’s a lot of them, and they fall under being mass produced
  • She’s the current monarch
  • Little historical significance to them

as well as various other things that don’t meet criteria.

However, I wanted to see Niantic’s view too. Also to ask, would the first postbox for a new monarch (Lizzie is getting on a bit now) be acceptable as a POI, and would a new monarch then change the criteria for the previous ones postboxes carrying their cypher? (In other words, when Queen Elizabeth II passes, do postboxes marked with her cypher become eligible?)



  • YouLostAStar-INGYouLostAStar-ING Posts: 280 ✭✭✭✭✭

    reading Niantics post about the new criteria it seems they don’t want to be answering questions in this way. All the old AMAs are invalid and submissions now either need to be somewhere you would explore, exercise or be social.

    similar questions have been asked a lot and there is a lot of debate so I agree that we could do with the question finally being settled

    I guess the question is what do you consider “settled”.

    New criteria rules indicate that Postboxes do not meet the criteria unless you can indicate that that particular postbox is something people would travel to explore it (thinking Eddie Viiis and Golds) or that it is highly significant within the local community (I could be persuaded by an old box pre ww2 in a very isolated community because at the time most houses didn’t have phones so postboxes would have vital for isolated areas to communicate)

    However if your definition of “settled” is that everyone votes the same way then I don’t think there’s much chance of that. The genie is out the bottle and with the slight majority of reviewers wanting moar stopz and don’t care about criteria and the people wanting agreements usually holding sway over accept/reject then most people will accept ones that don’t meet criteria.

    I suspect even if Niantic came out and clearly said “guys there’s thousands of these Red postboxes out there stop submitting them unless they meet the new criteria” I still don’t think the community will listen. The only way things will change is if Niantic started removing ones that got approved and revoked reviewing privileges for those who are accepting things which don’t meet criteria

  • sogNinjaman-INGsogNinjaman-ING Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Simple answer from the new 3.1 Criteria: "The object is mass-produced, generic, or not visually unique or interesting."

    VR postboxes yes, everything else, see above.

  • YouLostAStar-INGYouLostAStar-ING Posts: 280 ✭✭✭✭✭

    curious as to why you picked out VR postboxes as the one you would accept. There are still thousands of Postboxes made during the reign of Queen Victoria, the interest in them is mainly that they are the oldest ones. In comparison there are only around 160 Edward Viii and limited number of Gold boxes (with each Gold box having an interesting story as they were painted because of a Gold medal won by a local during 2012 Olympics)

  • sogNinjaman-INGsogNinjaman-ING Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭✭✭

    VR postboxes are the ones "the community" generally agreed were old enough to be historic. I'd assume most of the Edward ones are in the sysyem by now. Gold boxes are different, there are gold for a reason and, I think, all of them are in the system now, I'd be happy with those and I have voted for them as OK POIs in the past.

    As for the rest, I am fed up with seeing a constant stream on them appearing for review, usually with a comment along the lines of "safe pedestrian access" or "hsitoric postbox, no Pokestops in the area".

  • YouLostAStar-INGYouLostAStar-ING Posts: 280 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Part of the new guidance is that all the old AMAs and clarifications are no longer valid so whatever the community decided was ok is not necessarily in line with the latest guidelines

  • gazzas89-INGgazzas89-ING Posts: 88 ✭✭✭

    Not All of them, ive spotted a couple of Edward viii and even vii that aren't in the system yet

  • gazzas89-INGgazzas89-ING Posts: 88 ✭✭✭

    When it comes down to it, you need to ask, would the post box in question be important enough to the community. For example, in the middle of a bustling city, probably not. But for a small village, no matter when the post box was put it, its probably going to be important to that community as the only post box and one that showed their little community had gotten big enough to deserve a post box. The argument of mass produced or generic, imo, is insignificant for this because pretty much every play park about is generic and mass produced, but they have an importance to the community, so a similar view could be taken with post boxes. That's not to say every post box in wee villages/suburban should be accepted, if theres already ine close by, then its no longer going to be that important or unique, but if the submitter can make a compelling enough argument for it, then we as the reviewers should be looking at it the same as a play park or even the same way nianticcassey said a Starbucks could be OK (despite how unpopular that was)

  • TheNonFutile-INGTheNonFutile-ING Posts: 37 ✭✭

    I confess my first reaction on seeing the new criteria was "finally we have some sort of formal backing for rejecting all those hundreds of general post boxes clogging up the queues." Clearly you can't make the exercise/explore/social argument for most of them.

    Niantic have obviously got fed up with being badgered to provide clarifications on stuff like red phone boxes and footbridges and post boxes and trail markers and just being yelled at for being wrong every single time they try to.

    For all the many things that are wrong with Wayfarer I have a sneaking sympathy for them saying "OK guys, you know your own areas better than us, argue it out among yourselves" and just putting some basic rules down to try to stop them getting sued if people get run over trying to access a Wayspot in the middle of an eight lane expressway.

  • YouLostAStar-INGYouLostAStar-ING Posts: 280 ✭✭✭✭✭

    We have formal backing for rejecting them before but there were so many tears about “loaded questions” and ultimately the community realised if they kept upvoting them they would still get approved.

    the new criteria are great in my view, I think there needs to be some tweaks or explanations about what/why has changed (is natural feature still a rejection for example) but unless Niantic start clamping down on people accepting things which definitely don’t meet criteria then little will change in the long run.

  • NorthSeaPoet-INGNorthSeaPoet-ING Posts: 895 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The problem with determining historic value based on age is that anyone could argue that if something is old, it's historic, which opens up a whole new can of worms.

    Personally, in regards to postboxes, I'd rather see the more rarer or at least more visually unique designs, regardless of cypher (I.E. Liverpool Special, Ludlow, etc) as wayspots as opposed to any gold circular pillar postbox just that have the "right" cypher.

    From what I understand, from when I started reviewing on the OPR system, the acceptable postboxes were anything pre-EiiR, until it was clarified that GR and GviR weren't eligible (which caused a lot of tears) - not that many paid attention to that clarification.

    I do, however, share your sentiments regarding the supporting statements!

  • PkmnTrainerJ-INGPkmnTrainerJ-ING Posts: 4,421 Ambassador

    This discussion has started again on some social media groups so rather than start a new topic I thought I’d see if there was any new thoughts on it, or anything from Niantic?

  • YouLostAStar-INGYouLostAStar-ING Posts: 280 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Has there been any new discussion? I’ve not seen anything new on it for a while. The new guidance kind of settled it a while ago. Unless the postbox is somewhere you would take a visitor (Realistically there’s a very small minority that meet that criteria) then they don’t meet the current guidance

  • WheelTrekker-INGWheelTrekker-ING Posts: 3,159 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Why has it started again?

    Do you have a new queen or something that changes the previous status of the postboxes?

  • PkmnTrainerJ-INGPkmnTrainerJ-ING Posts: 4,421 Ambassador

    No new monarch. Just it seems to stir again every so often. It’ll be in your favourite social media group @YouLostAStar-ING , you know the one I mean.

    Our current monarch is 95, and she’s doing well by the looks of things but you can be sure that as soon as she’s in the ground a post will pop up here asking if her postboxes are now eligible. (I know that’s what I asked at the start of this thread, my own view would be that they’re not)

  • YouLostAStar-INGYouLostAStar-ING Posts: 280 ✭✭✭✭✭

    tbh the people in that group will literally accept anything. One of the admins had a post telling people how to make their own trail markers

  • Dazzz123456-PGODazzz123456-PGO Posts: 301 ✭✭✭

    The first maybe significant enough to get in but not the first 1 in someone's town or are I mean the very first 1. As for the queens cypher I'd say no they won't be hysterical enough like they haven't been all along as they will still remain very very common. Only new post boxes and replacement to damaged ones will have the new cypher so they are not going anywhere anytime soon

  • NorthSeaPoet-INGNorthSeaPoet-ING Posts: 895 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Oh no, not again.

    Personally, I'm struggling to see how they meet criteria since the criteria overhaul.

  • PkmnTrainerJ-INGPkmnTrainerJ-ING Posts: 4,421 Ambassador

    As some clarity was given on another UK specific thread;

    is it possible to finally have a “Yes, these are eligible” or “No, they are not eligible” on UK Postboxes from Niantic? @NianticGiffard @NianticTintino

  • Elijustrying-INGElijustrying-ING Posts: 4,195 Ambassador

    I thought this was all put to bed.

    I feel like I’m in revolving door

  • Elijustrying-INGElijustrying-ING Posts: 4,195 Ambassador


    it’s just when I saw it as a topic yet again I lost the will to live….

  • PkmnTrainerJ-INGPkmnTrainerJ-ING Posts: 4,421 Ambassador

    I would have expected the crappy blue biking signs to have been 1* as that seemed to be the major community feeling towards them and didn’t expect Niantic to actually step in and say anything but they have, and now that creates an expectation unfortunately.

    So I thought I’d see if I could also get some answers on some clarifications.

  • RobWaudby-INGRobWaudby-ING Posts: 185 ✭✭✭

    What’s better I guess Pet waste bins or post boxes.

    The Red British post box has so much history. There are only 120000 ish in the country. Most people are around half a mile away from one.

    There are far far less of these compared to parks and play areas and they are more historical.

    why shouldn’t they all be acceptable?

  • PkmnTrainerJ-INGPkmnTrainerJ-ING Posts: 4,421 Ambassador

    I’d expect that from someone who fed misinformation to Niantic about the generic blue bike signs.

  • RobWaudby-INGRobWaudby-ING Posts: 185 ✭✭✭

    I didn’t do anything of the sort. I offered up information which is widely available online. I’m sure Niantic can look into NCN markers and actually see for themselves and I’m confident they did.

  • PkmnTrainerJ-INGPkmnTrainerJ-ING Posts: 4,421 Ambassador

    “Hey Dave, this one guy says that these super generic signs with a bike and a number on should be eligible, should we read all these links?”

    ”Nah, it’s almost lunch time, and it just means more Waypoints, so who cares if they’re absolutely terrible?”

    ”Good point. I’ll say they’re all acceptable. I’m sure it won’t cause issues for people following what we’ve said about rejecting things that are mass-produced, generic, or not visually unique or interesting. Let’s get some lunch!”

  • RobWaudby-INGRobWaudby-ING Posts: 185 ✭✭✭

    Wayfarers maybe but what about the actual players of the games.

    1. Ingress players think they have enough portals as having to many might be to hard for links or something I don’t know. But the game is portal based nothing else. (You get to see all the POI on the map)
    2. Pokémon Go clearly Niantic’s biggest game. This game focuses on the Pokémon and not the stops or waypoints. The main reason people want more stops or waypoints so they can catch more Pokémon more spawns, more items, more quests, more gyms. (Each level 14 cell contains 64 Level 17 cells, so up to 64 POI in Pokemon GO these players get to far far less)

    These are the only two games most care about.

    we all know Niantic’s main goal is getting as much money in as possible to keep investors happy.

    Keeping the criteria fresh and updated is a good company move.

    1. it keeps people interested in submitting POI
    2. keeps them reviewing
    3. keeps them playing
    4. keeps the money coming in

    Having more POI in the games is in Niantic’s best interest.

This discussion has been closed.