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  • Royal Mail
    Image of proud villagers gathered round the gold post box in Ampney St Peter in honour of Laura Bechtolsheimer GB Team Dressage
    8 August 2012
    Ampney St Peter gold post box

Red post box in Ampney St Peter painted gold by Royal Mail to celebrate Laura Bechtolsheimer's Equestrian Dressage Olympic Gold Medal.

  • Royal Mail today celebrated Laura Bechtolsheimer’s Equestrian Dressage Olympic gold medal win by painting an iconic red post box gold in her home town of Ampney St Peter, Gloucestershire. 
  • Royal Mail will be painting one of its much-loved red post boxes gold to celebrate every Team GB and ParalympicsGB gold medal win during the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games
  • The UK is the first country to paint post boxes gold to celebrate Olympic and Paralympic gold medal wins
  • This is the first occasion in modern times when Royal Mail has changed the colour of its post boxes. Red has been the standard colour for UK boxes from 1874, with few exceptions  

An iconic red post box in Laura’s home town of Ampney St Peter was painted gold by Royal Mail today to celebrate her Olympic gold medal win.

• To mark Laura’s gold medal winning performance in the Equestrian Dressage with fellow team members Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester Royal Mail has painted GOLD the iconic red post box in Laura’s home town of Ampney St Peter. A Gold postbox will also be painted in Charlotte’s home town of Enfield.
• Guernsey Post, which is independent of the Royal Mail network, will paint a post box gold on Sark for its Gold Medal winning resident Carl Hester.

The UK is the first country to paint post boxes gold to celebrate Olympic and Paralympic gold medal wins.

To celebrate the win, Royal Mail also produced special gold medal stamps yesterday, which are on sale in more than 500 Post Offices today, including the Post Office in Cirencester, neighbouring Ampney St Peter in Gloucestershire, where Laura lives.

The stamps feature an image of the three winning equestrians. A further 4,700 branches will be selling the gold medal stamps within a week of a win.

Royal Mail will be painting one of its iconic and much-loved red post boxes gold to celebrate every Team GB and ParalympicsGB gold medal win during the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

This is a unique, highly visible and fitting way to recognise the successes of Team GB and ParalympicsGB gold medal win during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Royal Mail’s post boxes are a much-loved part of the UK landscape. The UK was among the first countries to erect post boxes. Anthony Trollope, the famous nineteenth century author and former Chief Secretary to the Postmaster General, is credited with introducing pillar boxes to the UK, having seen them in France and Belgium.

Many of the first UK post boxes were painted green to blend in with the landscape. However, to make them more visible to the public, bright red was introduced in 1874. Red has remained the standard colour for UK boxes from then on, with few exceptions.
The gold boxes will remain in use and customers will be able to post mail in these boxes as normal. Mail collections from the boxes will also be unaffected. The boxes will be repainted in Royal Mail's traditional red in due course.

For further information contact:

Val Bodden
External Relations
Royal Mail
02920 392500
val.bodden@royalmail.com  
www.royalmailgroup.com
Follow us @RoyalMailNews #goldmedalstamps
www.royalmail.com/goldmedalstamps

Notes to Editors

  • A map of all the locations of the gold post boxes, as they are painted gold, is available at www.goldpostboxes.com
  • Royal Mail’s post boxes are a much-loved part of the UK landscape. Royal Mail puts a great deal of effort into maintaining and painting its 115,000 post boxes nationwide.
  • Anthony Trollope, the famous nineteenth century author and former Chief Secretary to the Postmaster General, is credited with introducing pillar boxes to the UK, having seen them in France and Belgium.
  • The first pillar boxes in the British Isles were erected in Jersey in 1852 as a trial. This was in response to public demand for improved posting facilities, due to an increase in mail following postal reform in 1840. The trial was considered a success and boxes began appearing across mainland Britain from 1853.
  • Many of the UK’s first post boxes were painted green, to blend in with the landscape. However, to make them more visible to the public, bright red was chosen instead. The new colour was introduced in 1874 and it took 10 years to repaint all post boxes. Red has remained the standard colour for UK boxes from then on with only a few exceptions, one being blue post boxes for overseas mail, which were used in the 1930s.
  • Royal Mail has showcased all the sports disciplines that will be seen in this summer’s Games in three sets of stamps counting down to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. For information on Royal Mail’s range of Olympic and Paralympic stamps visit www.royalmail.com/goldmedalstamps
  • For all the latest information on all Royal Mail special stamps launches and news, please follow us on Twitter:  @RoyalMailStamps.
  • The ParalympicsGB Gold Medal Winners stamps will be available as a set of six First Class stamps in a specially designed miniature sheet for £3.60.
  • All Gold Medal stamps are also available online via Royal Mail’s website and from Royal Mail Tallents House (tel: 08457 641 641) 21 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh EH12 9PB.
  • Royal Mail issued its first Olympic Games stamps in 1948, with four stamps bearing the five Olympic Rings. No stamps were issued in 1908 as Royal Mail stamps at that time bore images of the reigning monarch only.
  • Australia Post was the first postal service to issue gold medal stamps to mark home team Olympic victories in 2000, with Hellenic Post in Greece following suit in 2004.
  • At the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, China Post issued a stamp product to mark each Chinese gold medal win. This was a sheet of stamps with labels attached, and an image of the winning athlete was printed on the labels. This was repeated for all gold medal wins.
  • More recently, Canada Post issued a stamp featuring an image of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games gold medal. This was issued to mark the first time a Canadian had won an Olympic gold medal on home territory