Wednesday 22 May 2019

Dark Blue Postboxes for Cricket World Cup

BBC News report 22 May 2019

People have been left stumped as post boxes have been painted blue in various towns and cities across England.

The paint jobs, spotted in the centres of Southampton (below), Leeds, Nottingham and Taunton, sparked speculation among locals.

But after some noticed the locations were all due to host matches in the forthcoming Cricket World Cup, it wasn't long until the secret was out. An International Cricket Council spokesman (ICC) confirmed the link. 

Painters in Southampton left behind a conclusive clue, in the shape of an unbranded notice taped to the side, stating: "This box has been painted blue to celebrate the 2019 World Cup."


Another box appeared in Angel Row in the centre of Nottingham (above).

An ICC spokesman stepped up to the wicket to confirm: "This is a joint activation between the Cricket World Cup 2019 and Royal Mail which will be officially launched next week."
Post boxes were painted gold in the home locations of gold medal winners in the 2012 London Olympics.

Blue post boxes are not an entirely new phenomenon - they were introduced for air mail letters in the 1930s. Examples remain at Castlefield, Manchester and outside Windsor Castle.

Royal Mail declined to comment on the blue boxes.

The Nottingham Live website tells more about their blue postbox, with updated painting of text and the ICC logo on the side.

Amazingly, the box was then taken out of service and covered up until tomorrow!!


UPDATE 29 May - wide coverage on BBC, ITV, Somerset County Gazette, Birmingham Live, Northern Echo, etc. 
Mark Street, head of campaigns at Royal Mail, has now said: “We love the opportunity to celebrate Great British traditions, and what better occasion than the honour of being the host nation for the Cricket World Cup?
"We are delighted to honour this quintessentially British sport and important occasion on our iconic postboxes.”

Blue postbox locations

  • Birmingham: New Street
  • Bristol: 33 Wine Street
  • Cardiff: 29 Queen Street
  • Chester-le-Street: Front Street
  • Leeds: 3-7 King Edward Street
  • London: St. John's Wood Road
  • Manchester: 19 Princess Street
  • Nottingham: 19 Angel Row
  • Southampton: Above Bar Street
  • Taunton: 37 North Street
The blue boxes, which initially caused some bemusement, have been decorated with local facts about the game and players.

The chairman of Durham Cricket, Sir Ian Botham, is named on a box in Chester-le-Street.

One in New Street, Birmingham, celebrates Brian Lara's record first-class innings score of 501 not out at Edgbaston in 1994.

UPDATE 17 June:
My thanks to TC for sending these pictures from Taunton where, as I write, Bangladesh are fighting back against the West Indies!

Pictures from BBC and Nottingham Live websites because none were available from Royal Mail.

The Cricket World Cup is being hosted by England and starts on Thursday 30th May, when the hosts play South Africa at London's Oval.


  1. Why blue?

    (It is not a colour I associate with cricket.)

    1. I wondered, but I suspect that is the colour of the England team strip, as in the recent ODIs against Pakistan.

    2. So I watched Englan'd first match yesterday, and their strip is mainly pale blue. I think the dark blue colour is the ICC colour.

  2. Along these lines I see they are also going to issue post boxes for the mailing of parcels. Do these mail boxes contain bomb detectors?

    1. Cricket is white. Possibly with a red stain around the groin.

    2. I'm sure they have at least as many bomb detectors as the average Post Office counter.

  3. I like these commemorative postboxes. In fact I’m thinking of giving up collecting British stamps completely thus saving myself vast amounts of money and instead collecting photographs of the special postboxes. But are you sure that the new blue boxes are for the cricket competition? Might they not be Royal Mail’s attempt to be politically balanced after 170 years of red boxes?

    1. I like postboxes. As a stamp user, I like to feed nice postboxes. Stamford railway station had a nice one I fed in April. I do like to take photographs of nice postboxes if I get the chance, even with my phone's camera. One of my favourites is in Betws-y-Coed, an Edward VII in a wall next to mileage signs to a couple of places.

      I got rather wet visiting the gold postbox in Flint for Jade Jones, but I did manage to get a selfie of sorts with it!

      Would you want photographs of yarn-bombed postboxes?

  4. We are going back in time to individual Post Boxes
    Red Post Box for 1st class
    Blue Post Box for 2nd Class

  5. In truth I had to look up what yarn-bombing means but yes, why not, yarn-bombing postboxes sounds like the ultimate step in the progress of mankind/womankind. I like the photograph of the Southampton box above where in addition to the red and blue postboxes, there is also a silver postbox in the background - doubtless posting a letter in that would guarantee safe delivery of the mailer’s post - to the rubbish tip!


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