One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
Milton Keynes: Golden Post Boxes To Stay Gold
The Royal Mail has today confirmed they plan to keep the golden post boxes in Milton Keynes as a lasting tribute to long-jump hero Greg Rutherford.
Speaking to Heart, Royal Mail spokesman Tim Cowan said: "The golden post boxes have become tourist attractions, they have become landmarks. We've had people contacting us to say they've visiting every single one in the country and sending us pictures of them. In the end it was quite a simple decision to make."
The Royal Mail say as their technicians had a lot of painting to do very quickly during the Olympics, not all the golden boxes were painted as well as they should have - so each one will be stripped back to the bare metal and properly repainted with a new longer-lasting golden paint which will last for many years.
The company said 110 boxes painted gold across the UK. The Royal Mail said it believed it was the first time it had permanently changed the colour of its distinctive red postboxes.
They were painted gold to mark gold medals won by Britons in the Olympics and Paralympics and have become "cherished local landmarks'". Royal Mail chief executive Moya Greene said: "We are delighted at the way people took to this simple idea
The gold postboxes gave communities even more opportunity to mark the successes of Team GB and Paralympics GB, and became a part of local celebrations of London 2012 across the UK. I am pleased to confirm that these postboxes will be kept gold permanently.''
Tim Cowan added: "We also plan to attach a special plaque to each and every one to detail the success of our gold medal winners like Greg. We hope they'll also be rededication ceremonies at each one with as many of the athletes as possible marking their repainted post-box and new plaque."
In Milton Keynes, the post box chosen by the Royal Mail at Silbury Boulevard to honour the MK long jumper was so close to another box, both were painted - partly because there wasn't enough time to cover and protect the one next to it.
Heart asked Mr Cowan if both boxes were to be repainted and he says: "We've made a decision that every single post-box which was originally painted gold we get a proper repaint - none of them will be turned back to red and we hope the new longer-lasting paint will be a reminder for future generations of the success of all our athletes at London 2012".
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