Children wanting to post letters to Santa find post box sealed

Laura and Honey Willoughby at the closed post box in Benniworth EMN-161126-202147001
Laura and Honey Willoughby at the closed post box in Benniworth EMN-161126-202147001

It might be a slow delivery for youngsters’ letters to reach Santa this year - as a post box in Benniworth has been left sealed up and out of action since August.

The post box, at the end of Silver Street on Main Street, was replaced this summer after the previous box was stolen, but has been sealed up with a metal plate ever since.

It has left people in the village bemused and frustrated, especially as Christmas approaches and residents are preparing to send Christmas cards and letters.

While there is another post box in the village, it is at the other end of Benniworth and for those who are unable to travel it has become a problem.

According to Royal Mail the box has been sealed while it awaits the new collection time plate and can’t be used until that has been fitted - which has so far taken four months.

Laura Willoughby (33), who lives near the box, has three young children Honey (aged one), George (6) and Lily-Mae (8), all hoping to post their letters to Santa.

She said: “We are all a bit fed up of waiting. There are also quite a few elderly people in the village and they can’t get to the post box at the other end of the village.

“We don’t have a post office here and the nearest one is either Donington-on-Bain or East Barkwith. My mother-in-law (Kathleen) has MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and uses a mobility scooter, so it’s an inconvenience for her as well. My husband Paul and my father-in-law run an agricultural business here (G A Willoughby) so we need access to a post box nearby as we deal with mail for work.”

Resident Lisa Osborne, who has started a Facebook page called ‘Get Benniworth’s Main Street Post Box Re-instated’, added: “Over four months later and we still haven’t got our post box. We are a small rural village and our residents are missing the use of the post box.”

Royal Mail spokeswoman, Morag Turnbull, said: “Royal Mail would like to apologise for the delay in the opening of the new post box installed in Benniworth and for any inconvenience caused.

“A new collection time plate has been ordered and plans are in place to fit the new plate and ensure the box is open as soon as possible.”