Dear Ms Chung,
I hope you won’t mind my bothering but I am doing some research on the historical numbers of the old boxes in Hong Kong and really would hope to get the figures right.
In a SCMP article entitled “Keep historic mail boxes in service, experts urge” on 17 March 2007, Hongkong Post was reported to out the number of pillar boxes that had been removed from the streets in the decade since 1997 at 86 and the number of pillar boxes still in use in 2007 at 58. Could you please help to confirm if these figures are correct and also the respective numbers of wall and oval boxes that had been removed between 1997 and 2007 and that were still in use in 2007?
In your 18 February 2010 response in SCMP to my earlier letter in the same newspaper, you stated there were still “some 47 vintage boxes bearing the insignia” in service then. I would be grateful if you could explain what type of boxes these 47 were comprised of? (Is this in fact a wrong figure as the current count stands at 59?)
Per our Tuesday telephone conversation, the first two of the following boxes were, I believe, included in an earlier list of old boxes forwarded to the Conservancy Association by Hongkong Post but not the one you sent me, and the last one is a unique box that has apertures both in the front and the back which I believe is worth including in the 59-old postbox list. (I understand the 59-box list may have intended to only include those that bear the royal insignia; if that is the case I would suggest these three, alongside the Tai O wooden one, be included in an expanded list of both royal-insignia-bearing boxes and non-royal-insignia-bearing special old boxes, so that special attention would be accorded.)
- No.157: 6 Peace Avenue./ Liberty Avenue, Homantin (wall box, no royal insignia) http://hkpostbox.xanga.com/693844879/—157/
- No.245: Sheung Pak Nai, Ming Kee Store (wall box, no royal insignia) http://hkpostbox.xanga.com/726166092/%E6%90%9C%E7%B4%A2%E9%9A%8A%E5%9B%9E%E5%A0%B1—%E9%83%B5%E7%AD%92245/
- No.147: Castle Peak Hospital, Tsing Chung Koon Road. http://hkpostbox.xanga.com/747999748/%E6%90%9C%E7%B4%A2%E9%9A%8A%E5%9B%9E%E5%A0%B1—%E9%83%B5%E7%AD%92147/
Sin Wai Man
(Note: In a telephone conversation on 23/12/2011, Ms Chung confirmed the number of boxes quoted in the 2007 SCMP report referred actually to all type of boxes, not just pillar types, and the number quoted in its 2010 letter to SCMP was wrong. As of 2011, we have 59 royal-insignia-bearing postboxes in HK.)
記 錄 員: 0035 Emil 隊員 記 錄 日 期: 14/12/2011 地 點: 長洲碼頭 QEII (ERII) 伊利沙伯二世 (1952-) Manufacturer: Carron Company, Stirlingshire http://hkpostbox.xanga.com/697178919/—66/
Dear Ms Chung,
Thank you for your reply regarding my earlier enquiries.
Further to our telephone conversation, I am sending you the following link, pictures at which will show the latest conditions of Postbox No.66 in Cheung Chau which appears to warrant some attention regarding paint peel-off near the aperture and rusting near the foot
I came across an article which described the restoration procedure adopted by the British Postal Museum & Archive for a 1930’s pillar box. Although not every measure employed there may prove to be useful for in situ preservation/maintenance which I believe should be preferred for our 62 boxes (besides the 59 royal-insignia-bearing ones, I am including also the Tai O wooden box and the two wall boxes that bear no royal insignia), it should nevertheless shed light on our endeavour (especially regarding the chosen 9 boxes). The link is http://postalheritage.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/restoration-of-a-story%E2%80%A6/.
Also might be of interest is Royal Mail’s opening up of its archive to the public, which if adopted in Hong Kong will help scholars and interested members of the public piece together a fuller picture of our postal history. (http://www.postalheritage.org.uk/page/archive)
In my recent encounters with the mass media, I gauge there is a consensus that all 62 old postboxes should be preserved. Although I understand the present 9-box list is a product of collaboration with the Commissioner for Heritage’s Office and it is not within Hongkong Post’s purview to make any unilateral change, I believe it will still be very helpful if Hongkong Post could officially commit to keeping the other 53 boxes (which may not need to be accorded the same level of attention as the older and rarer nine afterall).
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
With warmest wishes,
Sin Wai Man