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Peter Wilson's postbox will forever glisten gold in Sherborne

By Western Gazette - Sherborne  |  Posted: November 17, 2012

HERO’S LEGACY: Olympic gold medallist Peter Wilson with the letterbox outside the Post Office in Cheap Street, Sherborne, which Royal Mail say will be permanently painted gold to honour his achievement

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A Sherborne postbox painted to honour an Olympic medallist will remain gold permanently.

The Cheap Street box, situated outside the Post Office, was painted gold the day after Sherborne shooter Peter Wilson, 26, of Glanvilles Wooton, shot into the history books.

He claimed the gold medal for winning the men’s double trap shooting final in August.

Scoring an impressive 188 out of 200 in the final, Peter became the newly crowned king of British shooting in his debut Olympics.

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He received a hero’s welcome when he returned to his home town.

Congratulatory signs also appeared in Sherborne, praising him for his success, and hundreds lined the streets of Glanvilles Wooton.

Now Royal Mail has announced that boxes across the country will remain gold to celebrate the Olympic and Paralympic success of London 2012. Each box will also have a plaque fitted with the athlete’s name to mark their achievement.

Mayor Peter Rhodes said: “Whoever came up with the idea to paint the boxes should be commended. I think it’s wonderful.

“It acts as a great reminder that our town has produced an Olympic hero.

“I have never seen so many people being photographed by a post box.”

It is the first time in Royal Mail’s history that the colour of any post boxes have been changed to celebrate an iconic event.

The idea took the country by storm, with more than 110 painted post boxes now spanning the nation.

Thousands of visitors flocked to have their photographs taken next to them.

Moya Greene, chief executive officer for the Royal Mail group, 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.”

In September, Peter Wilson paid a surprise visit to Sherborne to see the postbox for the first time.

He was greeted by crowds and passers-by flocked to congratulate him, shake his hand, take pictures and hold his medal.

A sea of fans followed him as he walked through Cheap Street and applauded as he took up a position next to his gold postbox.

He said he could not quite believe it was decorated in his honour.

He said: “I’m completely overwhelmed by the welcome I received in my home town on this spontaneous visit. It’s such an amazing feeling.”

Since his Olympic successes Wilson has been interviewed by the world’s media, attended national and local events and awards ceremonies and has even appeared on BBC TV’s legendary quiz show A Question of Sport.

Royal Mail has produced stamps to celebrate each gold medal, which will be available until December 31.

A map showing the location of all gold postboxes can be seen at www.goldpostboxes.com.

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