Royal Mail has painted post boxes black in 4 UK cities - here’s why

Thursday, 1st October 2020, 12:14 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st October 2020, 12:14 pm
Four Royal Mail post boxes in different areas of the UK have been painted black as a way of celebrating Black History Month (Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Four Royal Mail post boxes in different areas of the UK have been painted black as a way of celebrating Black History Month (Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Four Royal Mail post boxes in different areas of the UK have been painted black as a way of celebrating Black History Month.

Each post box honours significant figures in the UK’s black community. They are located in all four corners of the UK - London, Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast.

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What is Black History Month?

Black History Month takes place in October every year, and is an annual celebration of the history, contributions and achievements of black people in the UK.

Peter De Norville, Royal Mail's head of diversity and inclusion, said, "Black History Month is a great opportunity to celebrate the contributions that black people have made to this country over many generations.

"We are also using it as an opportunity to celebrate the vital work that our black employees do throughout the nation, from the mail bag to the meeting room."

Who features on each post box?

The post box located in London is situated on Acre Lane, Brixton, which is close to Black Cultural Archives.

This post box features the image ‘Queuing at the RA’ by Yinka Shonibare, who was one of six artists commissioned by Royal Mail to produce original artworks for a set of special stamps which were issued to mark the 250th anniversary of the Royal Academy.

Mr Shonibare said, "As a citizen of the Commonwealth, it was particularly important to me to be making a visible contribution in a historic public space.”

A QR code on the four post boxes can be scanned to bring up a list of the black UK figures who have appeared on special stamps.

The Glasgow post box, located on Byres Road, features an image of footballer Walter Tull, who became the first black player to sign for Rangers. Prior to this, Tull had played with Tottenham Hotspurs and Northampton Town. During WWI, he was also the first black Army officer to command troops in a regular unit.

Located on King Edward VII Avenue in Cardiff, the third post box features Mary Seacole, a Jamaican-born nurse who cared for wounded British soldiers during the Crimean War.

Popular actor and comedian Sir Lenny Henry is featured on the post box in Bedford Street, Belfast.