PARTS of the High Peak and Cheshire have turned gold thanks to a very special delivery of medals from the area’s Paralympic heroes.
One of Royal Mail’s iconic red post boxes in Chapel-en-le-Frith, two in Disley and one in Poynton have all been painted gold in honour of the medal-winning success of cyclists Anthony Kappes and Sarah and Barney Storey.
Commemorative stamps celebrating the Paralympians’ gold medal triumphs have also gone on sale.
Kappes, 39, who is one of Chapel’s most famous sons, won his third career Paralympic gold on Sunday by defending his men’s individual B tandem sprint title alongside sighted pilot Craig Maclean.
Former Chapel High School pupil Kappes, who is registered partially blind after being struck down by a genetic condition, now lives in Stockport, but was brought up in the High Peak town and is a former employee of Otter Controls in Buxton. His gold post box is on Market Street in Chapel.
Tim Boothman, Postmaster at Chapel Post Office, said: “I think it is an excellent achievement and great for the town. We’ve already had plenty of people asking us where the post box is so they can go and have their picture taken with it!”
Cllr Tim Norton, Chairman of Chapel-en-le-Frith Parish Council, said: “To win gold at the London Games is a tremendous achievement and we are all very proud of him.
“The parish council will now be looking at what it can do to recognise his success in the near future.”
Disley’s golden couple Sarah and Barney Storey have won three track cycling gold medals and one silver medal between them at the 2012 Games.
Born with a partly-formed left hand, Sarah, 34, became ParalympicsGB’s first gold-medal winner last Thursday in the women’s C5 Individual Pursuit, and two days later she added the 500m Time Trial to her remarkable career haul of Paralympic medals.
A post box on the A6 Buxton Road, outside The White Lion pub, was painted gold in honour of the former Disley Primary School pupil, along with another outside Poynton High School, where Sarah was also a student.
Martin McKeown, tenant of The White Lion, described her gold medal-winning exploits as “absolutely magnificent” and “a triumph of human spirit”.
“I’m really delighted that something has been done in the village in recognition,” he said.
Headteacher at Disley Primary School, Heather Taylor, said: “We are all really proud that an ex-pupil of Disley has excelled. She will be an inspiration to the pupils and hopefully she will return to share with us her most recent success.”
Sarah’s husband Barney, 35, also has a gold post box in Disley, on Market Street, after he won gold as the sighted tandem pilot for Neil Fachie in the men’s B 1km Time Trial. The pair later won silver in the men’s individual B sprint.
Cllr David Kidd, Chairman of Disley Parish Council, added: “It is brilliant for the village that we have two people who have achieved so much at the Paralympic Games.”
As the Advertiser went to press yesterday (Wednesday), Sarah won her third gold of the Games – and the tenth of her Paralympic career – with victory in the road cycling C5 Time Trial.