Front, from left, developer Tim Rogers and Arthur Reader with the historic post box from the former Bedford Arms pub site in The Mall, Newport. Back, from left, are Neil Payne, Mr Rogers' business partner, and postman James Godolphin. Picture by CH
By Ross Findon
ONE of the oldest post boxes in the country has been saved.
When postbox enthusiast and expert Arthur Reader learned of plans to demolish the one-time Bedford Arms pub in Newport, he was dismayed at the possible loss of Island heritage.
Although the building was not of great significance, a post box in the wall was of importance, according to Mr Reader.
The box dates back to 1857, just five years after the first post boxes were introduced.
"The nearest box as old as this one is in Oxford. I heard there were plans to build flats there and I was worried the box would go.
"I got in touch with the developers and they have been very sympathetic to saving this piece of heritage, which I think should be applauded," said Mr Reader, who has a collection of more than 150 post boxes at his home in Fairlee Road, Newport.
The post box has been removed from the wall and developer Tim Rogers, of Westmont Properties, promised it was part of the plans for the building, which until recently housed Westmont School.
"We did not know how old or significant it was until Mr Reader contacted us. Once he told us, we looked at including it in our plans for the site," said Mr Rogers.