Villagers mourn loss of a 'much loved friend'
Residents in Bearsted are upset. Their postbox on the corner of Manor Rise and Yeoman Lane has been taken away after it was damaged by a turning vehicle.
The damaged postbox in Bearsted before its removal
Although Royal Mail has promised it will be replaced, villagers are scornful that it will be with an “ugly box on a stick” rather than the “vintage” box that was there before. The previous red cast-iron postbox had been made by the Lion Foundry Co Ltd of Kirkintilloch – on the Clyde.
The firm had the contract both for the GPO’s (General Post Office) pillar boxes and the classic red telephone booths.
It was the termination of the telephone box orders that drove the company out of business about 37 years ago. Previously they had been supplying customers all over the world for over a century. David Cockerham said: “Our box made by them was a precious piece of industrial history.”
Where the post box once stood in Bearsted
Mr Cockerham also said there was no need for the postbox to be removed.
It had been struck by a truck on March 22, but only the brick base had been broken. He said: “Instead of removing it as they did on March 26, Royal Mail could just as easily have lifted it and then re-mortared it into place.” Royal Mail workers at the scene told neighbours that a repair would be too costly – at around GBP4,000, but villagers say that was irrelevant.
The initial incident when the postbox was damaged had been witnessed by residents and even caught on video, so, villagers argue, any cost should be recoverable from the driver’s insurance.
At present, the nearest postboxes are at Bearsted Green and at the junction of Ashford Road and Cavendish Way.
Mr Cockerham said he felt the loss of the box like “the loss of a much loved friend.”