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Titchfield couple visit all 57 golden Olympic post boxes
IT was a spur-of-the-moment decision that led to an epic 19-day journey around the Olympic hotspots of Britain.
Retired couple and avid collectors Chris and Christine Power, from Titchfield, were so inspired by London 2012 that they decided to take a 4,000- mile trip around the country to visit each of the Royal Mail’s 57 golden post boxes.
The pair collected a commemorat ive stamp at every location, had a picture taken and got an envelope stamped at the nearest post office.
Royal Mail had painted the post boxes in the home towns of each of Team GB’s gold medallists as a way of commemorating their achievements.
Chris, 69, said they had visited them all to make a lasting collection of memorabilia for their two grandchildren, Charlie and Annabelle.
He said: “It’s been an experience – we’ve been faced with floods and torrential rain and we have met some lovely people and some not-solovely people.
“We just decided to do it on the spur of the moment because Christine loves collecting memorabilia and I love driving – so between us we had it covered.
“We’ve created a very unique album; it’s got all the envelopes with commemorative stamps, and we got the post office to stamp each one.
“It’s also got a description of what each athlete did and a picture of us two by the post box.
“Our grandchildren got so involved in the Olympics – our little four-year-old told us he wanted to be Mo Farrah and our two-year-old granddaughter has already started doing gymnastics.
“We really wanted to do this for them.”
Travelling in a Hyundai leant to them by the Richmond Motor Group, the couple started their journey in Hamble – the home town of record-breaking cyclist Dani King.
They travelled from the far reaches of Scotland right to the Isle of Sark in the Channel Islands and along the way saw Andy Murray’s training courts, had commemorative fridge magnets made and even had a few runins with post office workers that refused to stamp their envelopes.
Chris added: “A lot of them refused to stamp the envelopes, saying they were not allowed to.
“The Royal Mail told us that it was not necessary for general mail to be stamped but the date stamping is allowed by request.
“We had this argument over and over again. We managed to get the envelope stamped in every single town except one – Larkhill in Wiltshire.
“The post mistress there simply refused point blank, saying: ‘I don’t stamp anything.’ “It’s a shame because we got every other one, even on the Isle of Man and Sark in the Channel Islands.”
The golden post boxes are set to be repainted red in the new year.