Sunday, 19 February 2012

Post Office Security

Next time you are in any of the East Lothian Towns of Haddington, North Berwick or Dunbar have a look at the Victorian era Post Office buildings, The Dunbar and North Berwick ones are just sorting/collection buildings nowadays...

Dunbar Depot, around 1900...


Established in 1861, the Post Office Savings Bank (POSB) quickly attracted many customers who were eager to find a safe place for their savings. Backed by the Exchequer, the money deposited in the Post Offices was used by the Chancellor, William Gladstone to offset against public spending. This was a simple way for the government to borrow money and thus the POSB could afford to pay a good rate of interest.
In 1851 the first ever Post Office letter box was installed and fitted with a Chubb lock. Chubb safes would later be used in Post Office Buildings,

On the wall of these buildings, just off the ground you will see below a windowsill a foot hold lined with brass...


Above on the windowsill is a handle,

These were for the Town Policeman when walking the beat at night so he could pull himself up and shine his torch inside and check the safes, from a time when Post Offices held a lot of cash...


Have a look at your own Towns old Post Office building for the same...

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