The price of a stamp has recently gone up to 60p for first-class post, and 50p for second. This makes sending a letter through the post something many of us will do only if it’s absolutely necessary, or if it’s something really special, but it will at least make us think twice before sending – something it’s easy to forget when sending e mails.
Electronic communication is wonderfully quick and convenient, but it’s all too easy to rattle off lines on the keyboard, then quickly sign off and immediately press Send without stopping to think. Posting a letter the traditional way gives time to pause as you fold the paper and put it in an envelope, write the address, seal it, and then make the trip to the post-box, so the whole process is inevitably a more considered and thoughtful affair.
I will miss making trips to this pillar-box, which will be fewer from now on. It’s at least 60 years old and probably quite a bit older than that, and is showing its age in a way that makes it more lovable than the shiny modern one that stands outside the post office.
Red pillar-boxes are so much a part of the landscape in our towns and villages that we mostly take them for granted, even old friends like this one – but like everything else that we hardly notice, we would miss them if they started to disappear.