This is one rather special postbox. Apparently there are only 161 regular-sized pillar boxes with the Edward VIII cypher left in the UK and this example is one of only two in the city of Birmingham. I stumbled upon it by chance yesterday whilst walking home from Birmingham bus station.
Edward VIII had one of the shortest reigns in British history. He ascended to the throne on 20th January 1936 and due to his reluctance to give up his love for American divorcee Wallis Simpson, he abdicated less than twelve months later on 11th December of the same year. Because of his short reign there were only a limited number of these postboxes ever made and, seventy years later, even fewer of them now remain.
I knew that these postboxes were rare but I'd never seen one before now and when I saw Edward's royal cypher on this box yesterday with its roman numerals VIII separating the initials ER, I thought I was imagining it. The ER stands for Edward Rex (King Edward, in Latin). Modern postboxes carry the present monarch, Queen Elizabeth's cypher, which is also ER (Elizabeth Regina) but obviously with a different number, in her case II.
Anyway, this is one of the things I love about the UK. There's history everywhere you look, if you know what you're looking for.