Tuesday, 31 July 2012 8:08 AM
Every time a UK athlete wins a gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, one of the UK's iconic red post boxes will be transformed into a gold post box, according to the National Post Office.
The plans to paint the red boxes gold are part of a scheme to show national support for the Team GB athletes. Post boxes nearest the winning athletes homes will be the ones painted in the act of celebration.
Tourists can spot the new desgin alongside one of London's other famous landmarks; a unique new golden box has already been painted opposite Westminster Abbey, to mark the start of the Games.
Red Post boxes have been a UK icon since they were painted the famous shade of red in 1874, along with the other 'red' icon of the UK - the “K2” telephone box.
Although the architect, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, suggested that the telephone boxes be silver, the Post Office - who were then in charge of operating the boxes - decided to paint them a more visible red.
The design has been updated over the years, but the best place to see original examples is by Bow St police station, where a row of the historic “K2” design has been preserved for posterity.
Sir Giles was a famed architect in his own right, and also created landmarks such as Battersea Power Station and Bankside Power station, which is now the Tate Modern. He desgined the famous post boxes after winning a competition to do so in the 1920s.
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