Berkshire

Diver Chris Mears's Rio win marked by fake gold postbox

Raj Odedra and David Gregory Image copyright Andy Evans Photos
Image caption Raj Odedra, a postmaster in Burghfield Common hoped for the postbox in Recreation Road to be painted gold as a permanent memorial to Chris Mears

The home village of Olympic gold medallist Chris Mears has installed a golden cardboard postbox as a tribute to his Rio 2016 success.

Raj Odedra, a postmaster in Burghfield Common, Berkshire, hoped the postbox in Recreation Road would be painted gold to congratulate the diver.

After Royal Mail refused to paint the postbox Mr Odedra decided to place a replica in front of it.

It has since become a popular landmark for "selfies".

Mears and his diving partner Jack Laugher won Great Britain's first ever Olympic diving gold in the men's synchronised 3m springboard event.

Dozens of people have posted photos of their "postbox selfies" on the Burghfield Community Facebook page.

Image copyright Sarah Pollard
Image caption Mrs Eileen Kelly said she was "proud" to have her photograph taken in front of the "gold postbox"
Image copyright Helen Townsend
Image caption These two pups think the whole idea is barking
Image copyright Raj Odedra
Image caption Raj Odedra said the postbox began as "a bit of a laugh" but has since become a local landmark for selfies

"It started off as a low key tribute to our Burghfield boy, but the postbox has since become really popular in the community - particularly on social media," Mr Odedra said.

"People from all over Reading to Tilehurst have come to visit the postbox and to take a selfie in front of it.

"It has really helped bring the community together to help support the success of Chris Mears and his family who live here."

Image copyright Amanda Fox
Image caption Children pull their best diving pose to celebrate the success of local athlete Chris Mears
Image copyright Carla Allum
Image caption The postbox has even gained attention from families in Reading and Tilehurst

Royal Mail defended its decision not to paint post boxes gold.

A spokesman said: "After London 2012, we confirmed that all 110 post boxes would remain gold on a permanent basis, with a plaque naming the athlete and their achievement.

"However Brazil, as the host nation of Rio 2016, has the honour of celebrating the games in its own way".

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