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Paralympic sailing star gives Portland post box the golden touch
A GOLD post box glistening in the Weston area of Portland was given a lick of paint by the sailing star it honours.
Paralympic champion Helena Lucas posted the first letter at the box in Pound Piece and posed with the passersby who stopped to watch history in the making.
The island post box will be gold for the foreseeable future in honour of Helena’s achievements.
Helena, 37, said: “It’s really cool, I even had a go with the paint brush.
“The reason I chose Portland is because I’ve made it my home now.
“The decision to move to Portland, played a big part in my medal success so I wanted to say thanks for everything that’s happened as a result.”
It was originally announced that the box outside Easton post office would be painted gold but Royal Mail changed the location as a spokesman said that post box is set to move somewhere else within Easton. Instead, the post box in the St George’s Estate Road area got the VIP treatment.
Royal Mail engineer Steve Coles, of Weymouth, carried out the work and said he has been busy painting post boxes gold across the south coast – including Britain’s sailing Olympian Ben Ainslie 's.
The event came just a day after Helena’s historic win for ParalympicsGB. She sailed to victory this week in the 2.4metre single-handed keelboat class.
The gold medal winner has been an island resident since she moved to Fortuneswell with her husband Steve Thomas , a Sunseeker boatbuilder, a year ago from Southampton while training for the home Games, She had fun with the new landmark in her honour and pretended to post her gold medal before ceremonially posting the first letter.
A Royal Mail spokesman said: “We are delighted to celebrate Helena’s phenomenal achievement by painting a Portland post box gold.
“This is a unique, highly visible and fitting way to recognise the successes of ParalympicsGB’s athletes during the London 2012 Paralympics.”
Borough Councillor for Underhill Sandy West said she loves the golden post box. She said: “It’s fantastic, I love that Helena chose to have it on Portland. I went and had my picture taken by it, I think it’s great.”
In addition to the post box, Helena’s image has also been put on Gold Medal Winner first-class stamps, which are on sale in more than 500 Post Office branches, including the branch in Fortuneswell.