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Campaigners still hope to deliver painted postboxes
Campaigners are stepping up their efforts to get specially-painted postboxes for all three of Wharfedale’s Olympic heroes.
The area – following Alistair and Jonny Brownlee’s gold and bronze in the triathlon and cyclist Lizzie Armitstead’s silver in the road race – now has a full podium of London 2012 medals to its name.
The Royal Mail honoured gold medallist Alistair’s achievement by painting one of its pillar boxes in Horsforth – where the Brownlees grew up – last week.
But many in Bramhope, where the brothers have lived and trained for the past three years, were disappointed the village had been overlooked.
One resident, Peter Moran, took matters into his own hands and painted a postbox in Moor Road gold – only for the Royal Mail to repaint it red a day later, in a decision he descried as “mean and miserable”.
A campaign has now started to get an official gold post box in the village, while a Facebook group has also launched calling for a silver one in Lizzie Armitstead’s hometown of Otley.
Bramhope Youth Development Trust chairman, Geoff Mills, who travelled to London to cheer the Brownlees on last week, said: “It was so disappointing to learn that Horsforth was to get the golden postbox.
“The Brownlees may have been born there, but Bramhope, as their current home, deserves a gold postbox.
“I am asking our parish council and city council representatives, and our MP to take whatever action is necessary to remedy this injustice. I would ask everyone to help this campaign by lobbying our local representatives and MP, and to join the campaign on Twitter #bramhopegold.”
Ward and parish councillor Clive Fox (Con, Adel & Wharfedale) has suggested to the Royal Mail it could take a two-tone approach in the village, painting the postbox in bands of gold and bronze to reflect the Brownlees’ double achievement.
The Brownlees’ neighbour and friend, Jan Oddy, believes Bramhope deserves a gold pillar too. She said: “They’ve lived here for three years and they’ve done all their training here.”
MP Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West), meanwhile, would like to see a gold and bronze postbox in Bramhope, along with a silver in Otley.
He said: “The decision by Royal Mail to recognise the efforts of Team GB’s gold medal winners by painting postboxes in their hometowns is a fantastic tribute to their success.
“It also seems right that athletes who go on to achieve the similarly incredible feat of silver or bronze should have their efforts recognised in this way.”
He also condemned the Royal Mail’s repainting of the unofficial gold postbox in Bramhope as “mean-spirited”.
The Facebook campaign for Otley – Silver Postbox for Lizzie – has already garnered a lot of support.
Posting her comment on the site, Samantha Wilkinson said: “All medals are a great achievement so I definitely support the idea of gold, silver and bronze postboxes in the towns of the winners. I live in Otley, and would be very proud to have a silver postbox in my town to celebrate Lizzie’s massive achievement.”
The Royal Mail, however, says there is no intention to change its scheme.
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