The introduction of a postal service by Sir Roland Hill was celebrated and marked by the Royal Mail celebrating two hundred years of the post box in 2006. Post boxes appeared in many forms as a means of a central point where letters could be picked up and deposited. The first letters were probably delivered by hand then sent via courier either on horseback or by carriage.
Post boxes were placed on posts where they could be accessed sometimes near coaching stations or inns. In 1859 there was no specific design or colour but many were a green bronze colour of metal changing to a uniform red in 1874. The oldest post box in Scotland bears the cipher of Queen Victoria and is in Golspie in Sutherland and dates back to 1861.
The post boxes of later years were made by several manufacturers in England and in Scotland McDowell, Steven and Co of Glasgow were the original makers.
From 1952 to 1960 the post and pillar boxes were made from cast iron manufactured by Allied Iron Foundry of Falkirk, Lion Foundry of Kirkintilloch and Carron Ironworks Falkirk.
Today the lamp boxes as the freestanding ones are known are made at Specialist Castings of Denny the Post Boxes or pillar boxes as we know them at Ballantynes of BoNess and all are finished and dressed at Machans of Denny.
There are over 1000 post boxes made in Denny for the whole of the UK every year.
In the 1950s there was change in the usual way of marking the post boxes. It was normally the reigning king or queens cipher that was put on the front of the box but there was strong nationalistic feeling against this as it was said that Queen Elizabeth the second was actually Scotland’s first Queen Elizabeth so the cipher was removed making way for the Scottish crown instead.
Machans of Denny has a history that they should be proud of.
A further study of the locations and age of the towns post boxes is to be undertaken in the near future.