Post box appears in the middle of the Thames

Postbox on the ThamesVillagers in the Berkshire village of Sonning-on-Thames have been baffled by a red letter box, which appeared overnight. Bizarrely, it's on one of the legs of this bridge in the middle of the river Thames, which is only accessibly by boat.

So how did it get there, and is this the weirdest thing to happen to a letter box?



The incident became even more unusual when it emerged that Uri Geller lives in the village. He told the Telegraph that there were stories of the ghost of a child that was on the bridge, and suggested she might have installed it.

A spokesman for Royal Mail, told the BBC: "The recent appearance of a postbox frontage on the side of the river bridge at Sonning is a mystery to us."

It also confirmed that it was just the front of a square letterbox that had been attached to the bridge - so there wasn't any chance that letter could be posted there.


The Daily Mail suggested it may have been placed there as a stunt by the producers of a play that was in the village in July - it features the tale of a man who holds up a village post office.

ITV claimed it was the work of a local artist, who has previously built traffic islands in the Thames and put gravestones in the middle of a roundabout.

Post box oddities

Whoever is behind the post box stunt, can now lay claim to one of the oddest post box tales of recent years. However, they have some competition. Here are five of our favourites:

1. In the excitement over the Olympics in 2012, letterboxes were painted gold to celebrate each gold-medal winner. However, while a box was painted in Cornwall to celebrate where sailing star Ben Ainslie grew up, a man in Lymington in Hampshire, where Ainslie lives now, felt a box should be painted in the town - so decided to paint it himself.

He was initially arrested for vandalism, but after a campaign and intervention by Ainslie, the Royal Mail eventually withdrew its complaint and said the box would remain gold forever.

2. In October, a Cheltenham post box was found lying in the road. The police confirmed there hadn't been any accidents in the road, and Royal Mail employees have commented that they are too heavy to be uprooted and pushed over. No-one knows how this postbox ended up on its side.

3. At the end of last year, builders renovating New Street Station took a post box off the wall. It was then that they discovered it was full of letters - some dating back to 1989. It emerged that somehow Royal Mail had overlooked the box, and it hadn't been emptied in 23 years.

4. Meanwhile, a post box in West Kensington was placed too close to a plane tree. The trunk has started growing over and around the box, which makes it look as though the box is being consumed by the tree. It can be seen here.

5. In 2009 a postbox in Edinburgh was wrapped in paper, complete with a red bow. The Royal Mail suggested it could have been a romantic gesture, and confirmed that the mail inside was unharmed.

The top ten DIY projects: are they worth it?
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Post box appears in the middle of the Thames

Of course with all these things, the value it adds depends on the property you have to start with, and the kinds of improvements you make, but Which? estimates the cost of a new kitchen at £8,000 and HSBC calculates the added value to your property at £4,500 - which is a clear loss.

This has been done by 41% of people in the last three years, and 29% of people plan it in the next three. It's cheaper than a kitchen, and Which? estimates the cost at £3,000. This is roughly the same value that HSBC says it will add to your property - so you'll break-even.

This has been installed by 31% of us in the last three years, and 15% plan it in the next three. Installing central heating is a disruptive job, and according to WhatPrice it will cost you around £3,235. However, this is the first of the top ten to actually pay off. Property expert Phil Spencer says it will add £5,000 to the value.

Some 18% have added one in the last three years, and 30% will in the next three. This is another huge job, but with more people struggling to move and deciding to improve instead, it's increasingly popular. The amount it costs will depend on an enormous number of things, from the area you have to work with, to the size of the extension. However, assuming you add a single room you could spend around £20,000. HSBC estimates it will add around £15,500 to the value of the property, so you are unlikely to gain as much as you spend.

17% have done one of these in the last three years, and 20% will in the next three. This doesn't have to cost more than a couple of hundred pounds, but according to a survey from Halifax a few years ago it costs an average of £850 and adds almost £1,500 to the value. This is the second financial sound project in the list.

11% of us have knocked rooms through in the last three years and 8% will in the next three. If you're creating more usable space, then buyers won't mind you are reducing the number of rooms. If it's a supporting wall you can end up spending around £1,500, whereas a non-load-bearing wall should be doable in a day with a laborour and a plasterer for a couple of hundred pounds. It's unlikely to specifically add value though.

8% have put them in over the last three years, and 8% plan to in the next three. A solar panel costs about £6,500. It's definitely not going to add value to your property. However, it can pay off. With a feed-in-tariff you can save yourself £600 a year in heating, and can sell up to £450 back to the grid. The lifespan of the panel should be 20 years, so you'll break even after six and a half years and start making money. It's the third wise financial move here.

6% have done this in the last three years and 11% plan to in the next three. According to HSBC it adds the most value - at an average of £16,000. However, at a cost of £20,000 or more, it won't make you money.

4% of people have added one in the last three years and 7% plan to in the next three. As with a similar extension, you're likely to spend £20,000 and add £15,000 of value. So it only makes sense if your family is too big for the house.

2% have converted the cellar in the last three years, and 4% plan to in the next three. This is not a great way to see a return on your money - unless you live in the kind of area where you are absolutely out of any other options when it comes to making more space. It's not cheap - starting at £10,000 for simple waterproofing and finishing, to £50,000 for more intensive work. It will typically add £20,000 to the property.


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