Get the mail on postal history

MORE than 40 years ago, a century-old red letter box was found in the garden of an Albury home and the house’s owners, Graham and Adel Briggs, could not have known the journey it would take them on.

Fast forward to two years ago and Mr Briggs, an engineer, restored it to its previous condition, even remodelling a missing piece off one still used in Goulburn.

The couple, now of Sydney, then donated the post box, valued at $7500, to the Jindera Pioneer Museum.

When the museum sought historic material on the 19th century letter boxes and there was none, Mrs Briggs decided to write a book herself.

“I couldn’t find any information, so that’s how it started off,” she said.

“I thought it would be a few pages but it just kept bigger and ended up as a book.”

The book Cast in Iron — NSW Letter Receivers was launched at the museum on Saturday.

Writing it with a heritage grant, Mrs Briggs has donated her books to the museum and Royal Australian Historical Society for sale to contribute to their funding.

The book has all kinds of titbits such as the use of a vertical slot so horse riders could post letters without dismounting, newspaper reports of vandals stuffing the slots with tar and dirt and the story of a bullock that charged one in Sydney.

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