Dead Letter Box

‘Dead letters’ are those that cannot be delivered to the addressee or returned to the sender for example, if there is no return address or the recipient no longer lives at that address. This light-brown wooden box for such letters was installed at Walton-on-Naze Sorting Office in Essex, in 1934. It was refurbished in the 1970s and removed from the Sorting Office in 2002 when new equipment was installed. In the lock is a key on a 50mm diameter keyring with a tag inscribed, 'please hand in at police Station, RLB'. Letters that cannot be forwarded or returned are held for up to four months and then disposed of. ‘RLB’ stands for Returned Letter Branch.