I Spy Lucy Boxes

page 2

The continuing inspection of the city streets has come up with these two decorated boxes - they are within a few hundred yards of each other and are the only ones of this type found so far.
The box on the left stands on Newhampton Road, near the old Municipal Grammar School.

It is decorated on all sides but there is no maker's mark - only an indecipherable registered design number.

The box on the right is just along the road at Leicester Square.  It is marked "Hardy & Padmore Ltd., Worcester". 

The photos below show the two sides of one of the boxes at the Black Country Living Museum.

One side has the pre- 1898 Wolverhampton coat of arms on it and the other side has the post 1898 coat of arms. 

One side or the other might be a later replacement. The box is marked "Callenders Co. Ltd. London and Erith". 

The Electricity Department reports for 1918/19 record one payment to Callenders Cable Co. for "pillar body and cable".  This might relate to this type.

Here are two more from the Black Country Living Museum.

The one on the left is another example of the curly top with the old coat of arms. It is also marked "Callenders".  

That on the right shows what seems to be the logo of the Wolverhampton District Electric Tramways.  

This raises a separate problem. The Black Country Living Museum says this logo belong to Birmingham and Midlands Tramways and it appears in that context on some of their restored vehicles.  But we know it was used by the Wolverhampton tramways department and appears, for example, on their building in Mount Pleasant, Bilston. But Steve Winder tells us that "this logo was, in fact, that of the British Electric Traction Company, and was used throughout their operations".

The following three photos have kindly been provided by Keith Pople, who is a designer of LV Pillars with Lucy.  He found these old Lucy products in their factory in Oxford.
This pillar dates back to 1921 and was in use in Linton Road, Oxford.
The photos show another type of box, and the interior of yet another old box.

Whilst we cannot record here all the Lucy boxes, and their ilk, that ever were, we must add this one, provided for us by Alec Hamilton:

Alec found this in Hales Road, Cheltenham and it is one of a number he found in that splendid town. Officially they are called Lucy Pillars and, in Cheltenham, were associated with the functioning of the street lights (and not, as had been supposed before Alec got to work on them, in connection with the trams).

We do not appear to have any of these in Wolverhampton. But they may all have disappeared: Alec has recorded the demise of most of them in Cheltenham. His experience emphasizes the importance of our efforts to preserve ours.

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