Sir - You ask about the pillar box outside 78 Banbury Road (Oxford Mail, September 30).

It is an example of the first cylindrical (as opposed to hexagonal) pillar box in this country, and was made between 1879 and 1889.

Because it had no royal cipher and also lacked the words Post Office, it is now known as the 'anonymous' type.

There is another example in Oxford, in Rawlinson Road. All post boxes made since 1889 have the royal cipher.

If you look at the photograph, you will see that there is an Oxford Civic Society blue plaque on the wall of 78 Banbury Road, showing that from 1885 to 1915, this was the house of Sir James Murray, editor of the first Oxford English Dictionary.

The huge correspondence generated from his 'Scriptorium' in the back garden would have passed through this box - and might even be the reason why it is there.

Stephanie Jenkins

Kennett Road