Today is self-proclaimed Postal Workers’ Day. Fair enough, it is shoulders to the wheel this time of year, though less so than in the past, one suspects. Talking of the past, take a look at this old capital and fluted column section which sits outside the excellent Vestry House Museum in Walthamstow E17.
It turns out this rather incongruous street ornament was once part of the neo-classical General Post Office HQ in St Martin-le-Grand. The magnificent building was designed by Sir Robert Smirke and built between 1826 and 1829. At the height of Britain’s imperial power when edifices like these seemed to be ten-a-penny, it was demolished in 1912, in an act of careless vandalism at which London excels so well.
When the building was being demolished the capital was purchased by a stone mason Frank Mortimer who presented it to the Borough of Walthamstow. It was first placed in Lloyd Park and then transferred to its present position in 1954.
Hat-tip to LH Member Joanna Moncrieff for background info on this.