Amazing Mailbox Quest

 Mail delivery is becoming a disappearing service in Australia, and I believe, also in many other countries. Emails and internet have taken the joy of seeing the post-man pop a letter in the mailbox for you to collect. Maybe you make a cup of tea first then take the cuppa and the precious letter to your favourite spot to read and re-read every word. Letter writing is becoming a dying art. Now it is a quick email, basic and to the point. No delicious descriptions of what is happening, no word pictures of where the person has been or how they are feeling. A click on the delete button and the email is gone.

In the past, before computers, history was preserved in letters and written documents. Today the communication is mainly emails that once read and answered, go in the trash bin. I wonder how today will be deciphered by historians. In the past precious letters would be kept, often tied with a ribbon and stored in a box, to be found many years later and again read, bringing back all the cherished memories.

Madoqua of “Have you ever” is running this ongoing mailbox quest. She has found an amazing collection of mailboxes to show us and invites anyone finding an unusual box to join in.

I am always watching for them in my travels, there are not many around these days, but I found a couple over in Western Australia.

Cheery chappie

Cheery chappie

I would pass this happy little chap every time I went to town when we were house sitting in Geraldton. I always felt like waving back…

Ned Kelly

Ned Kelly

This character needs no introduction to an Australian. He is a national hero or villain depending on your viewpoint. Ned Kelly was a notorious bush ranger who was said to rob from the rich to give to the poor.

“The ‘letterbox’-style headpiece and matching body armour worn by Ned Kelly and his gang are recognisable icons that feature prominently in the work of artists such as Sidney Nolan and Albert Tucker.

In 1879 – the year before the Glenrowan siege and Ned’s ultimate capture – the Kelly gang began constructing the suits of armour from mouldboards, the thick metal parts of a farmer’s plough. They acquired these materials in various ways – some were bought; others were offered to them by sympathetic farmers; a few were stolen.

The suits allowed the gang to walk away unharmed from close-range shooting, but they also served a less practical function: they made the gang members – Ned in particular – seem larger, more intimidating; even ghostly. The shock factor of the metal-clad Kelly would have been much to Ned’s advantage during the Glenrowan siege.” ( More information here)

Ned Kelly's death mask

Ned Kelly’s death mask

Rather a gruesome artefact but one that I saw in the Portrait Gallery. But more of that in another post.




Categories: Amazing Mailbox Quest, Australia, Ned Kelly, photography | Tags: , , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Amazing Mailbox Quest

  1. hilarious!!!

  2. Good post Pauline, both humorous as well as interesting history.
    Ned Kelly is a controversial subject worth reading about.

  3. These are great mailboxes, the cheery chappie is a beauty. Amazing the fascination Australians have for parking Ned at their gate. I found 3 versions of Ned (mailboxes) in one day, all well away from each other and quite differently constructed. They are coming soon.
    None look anywhere as formiddable as yours though….. I would not dare to leave junk mail in that box!!!

  4. Sadly we are loosing a whole culture here…and with it many other things. Your boxes are really something…

    • I wonder if the next generation will ever know the joy of sending and receiving letters. Even BD cards and Xmas cards are a dying art. Many good cultures and traditions have disappeared in the wake of the almighty computer and Google.

  5. Pingback: The Big Ned Kelly | oui depuis

  6. My mum said this is what she would like to “collect” next time she’s in Australia, pictures of the amazing mailboxes!

    • Not so many wacky mail boxes these days, and many areas are trying to faze out mail deliveries. But keep looking they are out there, somewhere….

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