A petrol tank as a post box!

By | Category: Travel destinations

the petrol tank letter box!

A few years ago on an Australian trip I wrote a story that mentioned the unusual items that Australians use as their letter boxes. Unlike here letterboxes are at the entrances to their properties and generally not in their front doors.

At the time I included images of old milk churns, (very popular) toilet seats, computer terminals and dustbins that had been recycled (or is that upcycled?) for use as letterboxes.

Once this was a lawmower. Now it is an upcycled letter box

Back in the country last month it wasn’t long before I found other ingenious ways of recycling. One bush property had an old petrol (it might have been diesel) tank that acted as its letter box. Spare petrol tanks just lying around aren’t the norm so the householder must have gone to some time and effort to either get hold of one of to strip one out of a wreck or a vehicle that had reached the end of its days. As you can see from the image, it wasn’t the shiniest of tanks but who cares; it was serving its purpose.

and here is a much more shiny letterbox made from a motor cycle helmet

Similarly un-shiny is what I think is a de-constructed lawn mower which had been adapted to serve as a letter box which I found on the outskirts of Sydney. Again the householder had gone to some trouble to strip off the motor, add a metal can in which to place the letters  (maybe an old oil can) and then placed an arch over the top. This wasn’t a task that had taken just a few minutes proving once again that some Australians take time and effort in creating their distinctive letter boxes.

If that wasn’t shiny then the use of a motor-cycle helmet certainly was. Just perched on the top of a post this one used the visor as the posting aperture whilst the helmet protected the mail from the elements.

I feel this householder is rather letting the country down. Couldn’t they have been more creative?

But if you don’t want to go to such lengths why not use a discarded old red plastic bucket like I found at one outback property. There is little protection from the weather but it does protect the letters from lying on the ground and that is probably all there is to say about it!

Some people have gone to much more effort. As I drove up to the Blue Mountains I espied a letter box which looked as though it had been made from corrugated iron. This had been turned into a cylinder with a fashioned face adorning it. On top was a hat!

the face of letterboxes!

There are modern letter boxes that are sculptural with some householders opting for steel edifices that rust to give them an old look.

Unless you buy them like that to start with.


The face of steel aged with rust

On Pinterest you will find even more creative designs of letter boxes that have been found in Australia and one historical group is seeking images of letter boxes in their district to create a walking tour for visitors!

It seems that letter boxes have become a tourist attraction.

But it isn’t only letterboxes that you find at the front of people’s houses. I found a very old petrol pump next to the driveway in one suburb not 25 miles from the middle of Sydney.

What is this doing outside a house. Is it public art?

It obviously doesn’t dispense petrol anymore and it certainly doesn’t function as a letter box so why is it there? Another piece of public sculpture?

It does make driving around Australia more interesting than you might think so keep your eyes skinned on your next trip there.

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