wickwar.jpg

Perhaps the best known red box is the WickWar Gladstone Budget Box, which is held up for a photoshoot outside 11 Downing Street, when the Chancellor of the Exchequer announces the Cabinet's annual budget plans. The first budget box was made for William Ewart Gladstone around 1860 by WickWar and is lined in black satin and covered with scarlet leather. This box has been used by every Chancellor until 2011, with the exceptions of James Callaghan (1964–1967) and Gordon Brown (1997–2007), who had new ones commissioned in 1965 and 1997 respectively.Gladstone's budget box was used by Alistair Darling (2007–2010) and by George Osborne in June 2010. It was subsequently retired due to its fragility, and will be displayed in the Cabinet War Rooms. Since March 2011, a new budget box commissioned by The National Archives has been used.

The Disraeli despatch box remains within the Wickwar archive and is the oldest PM despatch box known.

gladstone.jpg