Gold post boxes  – Freedom of the City for Hoy? – Fringe by the Sea – Festival worth loadsamoney to Edinburgh – Join our review show tomorrow
We wondered yesterday whey the post box has been painted gold in Hanover Street. It turns out that there is an Olympics theme behind it!
  • Some of Royal Mail’s much-loved red post boxes will turn gold this summer to celebrate every Team GB and ParalympicsGB gold medal win
  • The UK is believed to be the first country to paint post boxes gold to celebrate Olympic and Paralympic gold medal wins
  • The gold post boxes will be located in the home towns of the gold medallists wherever possible.  The transformation will happen within days of a gold medal win
  • This will be the first occasion in modern times when Royal Mail has changed the colour of its post boxes. Red has been the standard colour for UK boxes from 1874, with few exceptions

Royal Mail today revealed that it will be painting some of its iconic and much-loved red post boxes gold to celebrate every Team GB and ParalympicsGB gold medal win during the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

This will be a unique, highly visible and fitting way to recognise the successes of Team GB and ParalympicsGB during this summer’s global sporting events.  The UK is believed to be the first country to paint its post boxes gold to celebrate Olympic and Paralympic gold medal wins.

A dedicated team will be on standby to transform the specially selected post boxes within days of a win.  The post boxes chosen will, wherever possible, be in the home-town of the winning athlete, or both home-towns for teams of two.  To celebrate a gold medal win by teams of more than two competitors, the post box chosen to be painted gold will be in a location relevant to all team members.

Royal Mail’s post boxes are a much-loved part of the UK landscape. The UK was among the first countries to erect post boxes.  Anthony Trollope, the famous nineteenth century author and former Chief Secretary to the Postmaster General, is credited with introducing pillar boxes to the UK, having seen them in France and Belgium.

Many of the first UK post boxes were painted green to blend in with the landscape. However, to make them more visible to the public, bright red was introduced in 1874.  Red has remained the standard colour for UK boxes from then on, with few exceptions.

The gold boxes will remain in use and customers will be able to post mail in these boxes as normal.  Mail collections from the boxes will also be unaffected.  The boxes will be repainted in Royal Mail’s traditional red in due course.

Royal Mail demonstrated how the boxes will change from red to gold by painting a box in near to Westminster Abbey, London.

Post boxes will not be the only things turning gold this summer.  Royal Mail will issue special stamps to celebrate each Team GB gold medal win at the London 2012 Games.  Team GB Gold Medal stamps will be produced capturing an action image of each Team GB member or team that wins gold this summer.

These stamps will go on sale at over 500 Post Office branches within 24 hours of a Team GB gold medal win.  All of these branches will open on Sundays, many for the first time, during the Games to allow customers to buy the stamps as soon as they become available.  A further 4,700 branches will be selling the Gold Medal stamps within a week of a win.

Royal Mail will also be the first postal administration to commemorate the gold medal wins of the national Paralympic team by featuring them on a set of six special stamps.  Each stamp will feature a different group of ParalympicsGB gold medal winners. These stamps will be available for sale in over 5.200 Post Office branches from 27 September 2012.


As well as having a post box painted gold in his honour, Olympic cyclist, Sir Chris Hoy, may be getting the Freedom of the City too. STV Edinburgh appear to have been first with the story that Councillor Steve Cardownie has “set the wheels in motion” and that Sir Chris


Fringe by the Sea gets going this week. We are told there will be More talent, more choice, more fun…………The 2012 Fringe by the Sea Programme has a fresh feel and some brilliant talent. Running from 6th-12th August, and counting on the weather being kinder than last year, the organisers are confidently predicting a ‘best ever’ result. And looking at the performers and events planned, who would argue with that. The Spiegeltent, with its capacity of 600, will again be the iconic venue – representing the hub of the action and taking over the harbour area. Names like The Manfreds, Fat Sam’s, Sharon Shannon, Neil Innes, Kate Rusby, Phil Cunningham & Aly Bain will immediately be recognised by those in the know as being giants in the respective genres.

Elsewhere there is a mix of music, comedy, theatre, film, authors-in-conversation – plus the usual strong children’s programme. The Seabird Centre will feature acoustic-style concerts – The Carrivick Sisters and Dave Vernon & Dick Lee visiting for the first time, The Alleycats and A Fyne Pear on return tickets!

St Andrew Blackadder hosts Fringe by the Sea’s first foray into Gilbert & Sullivan with The Mikado, as well as the award-winning Lothian & Borders Police Choir and the truly amazing young talent that is Emily Smith. There are a number of diehard fans in North Berwick of the Yorkshire band Waking the Witch – and it is great to welcome two of the Witches to the Masonic Hall, Becky Mills & Patsy Matheson. Being an Olympic year, the film season will be a ‘great sporting films’ retrospective –  In the afternoons, the Authors-in-Conversation events return – and already ‘booked’ to appear are Iain Banks, Tm Dalyell, Mary Contini, Sara Sheridan and Sally Magnusson – something for everyone! And who knows who will appear on the three nights of Stand-Up Comedy – maybe another Kevin Bridges? [The Festival claims him as an ‘emerging talent’ in 2008!]

As the rain threatened to spoil last year’s fun, a very strong children’s programme is always essential – and this year sees the return of The Singing Kettle, Mr Boom, Jo Jingles and Fischy Music. All hugely popular over the last few FBTS events.

Mix in some Irish Dancing, Jazz at The Glen, Dave Berry’s walks and a Sunday lunchtime Gospel concert, and you start realising the mammoth task in putting together such a fantastic display of entertainment! It really deserves your support – so please give it!

Tickets are NOW on sale either online at or from the Ticket Office in North Berwick at 43E Melbourne Place.   Check out the website for all the details or call our info line: 01620 890787.


You would be forgiven for thinking that there is no other news apart from Fringe and Festival. However some of that is good news apparently. The Herald says that VisitScotland claim the economic advantage of the Festival is worth about £140m to Edinburgh.


We are meeting tomorrow at Hemma on Holyrood Road to record reviews and previews of some Fringe shows. If you have seen something great then come along and tell us about it anytime from 12 till 2. If you are a performer then feel free to come along too! We are then putting the audio from all of these interviews up on Soundcloud using the tag edinburghreporterradio. And you will be able to read them here under our Radio section. If you want to know more then read this article here. You can also add your sounds to our library by tagging them with edinburghreporterradio too.

You can access this and all of our other articles when you are out and about in Edinburgh by using the Wikitude App on your smartphone. This allows you to search for The Edinburgh Reporter and. using technology called Augmented Reality, you will find the articles which are written about the area of Edinburgh where you are at the time. All of our articles are geotagged with an appropriate location. So for example if you want to read all of our Hibs related articles then when you are at Easter Road you can find them by using the app.