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Stamps honour Trollope for post box

Published 24/04/2015

A commemorative sheet of stamps which are going on sale to mark 200 years since the birth of Anthony Trollope (Royal Mail/PA)
A commemorative sheet of stamps which are going on sale to mark 200 years since the birth of Anthony Trollope (Royal Mail/PA)

A limited edition of stamps is going on sale to mark 200 years since the birth of Anthony Trollope, who first introduced post boxes to the UK in the 1850s.

The sheet of stamps features images of Trollope and his life and times, including the first pillar box design.

Royal Mail is also marking the bicentenary of Trollope's birth in 1815 by launching an online "family tree" showing post boxes through the ages.

Famous as a novelist, Trollope is also known as the person who introduced freestanding postboxes or pillar boxes to the UK during his time working at the Post Office, after seeing them first in France.

The first pillar boxes in the British Isles were erected in Jersey in 1852 as a trial before appearing across mainland Britain from 1853.

Many of the UK's first post boxes were painted green, to blend in with the landscape, but that was later changed to red to make them more visible to the public.

The new colour was introduced in 1874 and it took 10 years to repaint all post boxes. Red has remained the standard colour for UK boxes with only a few exceptions, one being blue post boxes for overseas mail.

Royal Mail now has 115,300 post boxes of all shapes and sizes across the country.

Sue Whalley, Royal Mail's chief operating officer, said: "We are delighted to contribute to this year's bicentenary celebrations of the birth of Anthony Trollope.

"He is well known as a former Post Office employee and we have him to thank for introducing pillar boxes to the UK.

"Whether in walls, on poles or freestanding, the network of post boxes has grown from Trollope's time to reach around over 115,000 boxes which are now an iconic feature of communities across the UK."

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