The Colne Valley Postal History Museum, a privately owned postal history museum is located in Essex and is one of very few dedicated museums that study the development of the British postal system.
The massive UK postal network that can now deliver a letter anywhere in the country the next day has not always been as sophisticated as it is now. The museum looks into the way that the system has changed.
This fascinating small private museum hosts an extensive collection of letter boxes such as the display looking at the development of the wayside post box during the reign of King George V, Victoria Regina, Edward VII, Edward VIII, George VI, Elizabeth II as well as overseas boxes.
Moreover, the museum is very hands on, children can put old pennies in stamp machines, stick the stamp on a letter, use a Victorian cancellation to strike it and post it in a rare letter box. They can dress up in Post Office uniform too!
‘Most boxes arriving here have been out of use for many years and are often damaged or in poor condition. We have to repair them to professional standards, replace missing locks and fittings and, if appropriate, fit a contemporary collection plate,’ says collector, Steve Knight.
The museum houses the second-largest private collection of Post Boxes in the UK, including 100 ex-British Post Office letter boxes together with 19 Stamp Vending Machines, documents, uniforms and other associated artifacts. Steve Knight started collecting mail and post boxes about 10 years ago.