Thursday 6 October 2011

Derby Castings Limited GR Wall Box on Western Road, Mickleover, Derby made in 1933.

Did you know that Andrew Handyside who made Friar Gate bridge in Derby also made thousands of iconic Pillar boxes for the UK and Ireland? I doubt many people are aware of this fact that they were made right here in Derby at the Britannia Ironworks on Duke Street, Derby.

Handyside had the Post Office Contract to make pillar boxes from 1878 to 1933 (1931-1933 known as Derby Castings). So its highly likely that at some point in your life a letter will have been posted via a Handyside box.

Here is one such example of a Wall Box that was made at the Britannia Ironworks in 1933. This one is still in constant use to this day. Its located in the wall outside a shop on Westrn Road, Mickleover, Derby, Derbyshire, UK. The GR is the Royal cipher for King George V.

Manufacture of cast-iron wall boxes in the UK for postal use finished in 1980.


Photograph showing the location of the Wall Box outside the shop on Western Road
GR Wall Box on Western Road, Mickleover, Derby

Photograph showing the complete wall box.
GR Wall Box on Western Road, Mickleover, Derby

Photograph showing the Royal Cipher and makers badge "Derby Castings Limited, Derby"
GR Wall Box on Western Road, Mickleover, Derby

Map Location:
View my Andrew Handyside World Map to see the exact location of this Wall Box on the world map.
My world map is the result of hundreds of hours of research into the company, plotting out each item as I find it.

Google Streetview of this wall box.

Can you help find more Handyside stuff ?
If anyone out there knows of any other Pillar Boxes around the world bearing the Handyside badge that I have not mentioned yet then please get in touch with details, location, photographs etc.



  1. Aha! So that explains the significance of "Derby Castings". There's one on the A6 at Darley Abbey and another in Peel IoM at 54°13'19.6"N 4°41'50.5"W

    1. Hi David, Yes there are lots of Derby Castings boxes around, quite often the years of paint has obscured the text.