Number 1403 in a series of caches where a red telephone box is in close proximity to a post box.
The only rules are that they have to be able to be photographed together, be not more than 100’ apart and the phone boxes have to be red.
Donaldsons Lodge is a small hamlet in the parish of Cornhill, North Northumberland. What is interesting about this Fine Pair in particular is despite it's English location the box bears the Crown of Scotland marking.
The Pillar Box Wars
On 28 November 1952, an official party assembled at the junction of Gilmerton Road and Walter Scott Avenue in Edinburgh to formally unveil Scotland’s first ‘E II R’ pillar box. What at first appeared as a perfectly appropriate and harmless recognition of the new head of state quickly descended into a cause of national outrage leading to wide scale media coverage, debates in the House of Commons and intense police surveillance.
The problem was that the Tudor Queen Elizabeth I had never ruled over Scotland, therefore the suggestion that there could be a Queen Elizabeth II was considered grossly inaccurate and unacceptable to many Scots.
Shortly before the official unveiling of the pillar box, a pressure group had written to a number of officials to question the legality of using the E II R symbol. The authorities were, therefore, aware of the controversy, and five police officers were present at the unveiling ceremony.
Despite the box receiving special police attention, within thirty-six hours the E II R symbol had been defaced with tar. A week later a parcel containing gelignite was found inside the post box, and in January 1953, a postal worker found another explosive charge. A protester was also found attacking the box with a sledgehammer.
Finally, on 12 February 1953 the three-month-old post box had been completely blown apart courtesy of a gelignite bomb. The next day a small Lion Rampant was discovered draped across its smouldered ruins. A brand new pillar box appeared soon after with no sign of E II R.
The E II R issue was debated in the House of Commons and even in court, but attempts to challenge the Queen’s right to be declared as Elizabeth II across the United Kingdom proved to be unsuccessful. A further statement by the Crown would declare that the Royal title of the new monarch should reflect the highest number from either the Kingdom of England or the Kingdom of Scotland. However, the bombing incident had caused significant distress among Inch residents, who made it clear that any future erection carrying the E II R identification would not be welcome. To avoid any further troubles Scottish pillar boxes, mail vans and other post office paraphernalia would carry the Crown of Scotland from then on.
The phone box has now been repurposed into bookswapping booth. Please feel free to bring along something to trade to ensure the box is being used. The co-ordinates will take you to the Fine Pair. Pay particular attention to the phone box. Please be mindful that this cache is in a residential area so visiting at night is discouraged.
I recommend parking just off road near the church.
The A Fine Pair series is managed by mattd2k
If anybody would like to place 'A Fine Pair' of their own please do. I would just ask that you first visit www.afinepair.co.uk to request a number to avoid any duplication.
mattd2k also keeps a public Bookmark List of this series. Once your cache is published please contact him via the A Fine Pair website at www.afinepair.co.uk to have yours added.