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West Kingsdown Olympic medal winner Lizzy Yarnold to be honoured with a gold bus

24 February 2014
by Messenger Reporter

She may not have been honoured with an official gold post box, but Kent’s Lizzy Yarnold will be getting a gold bus.

Arriva is painting one of its buses gold to celebrate West Kingsdown’s Lizzy’s victory at the Winter Olympics.

The eye-catching bus will be a regular sight on her local bus route, the 478 that runs through West Kingsdown and the nearby villages of Eynsford and Farningham on its way to and from Swanley.

Lizzy Yarnold celebrates her Olympic gold. Pictures Getty Images

Lizzy Yarnold celebrates her Olympic gold. Pictures: Getty Images

Arriva’s Regional Publicity Manager, Richard Lewis, said: “We are proud of Lizzy’s achievement and, as we serve her local community, we felt that a gold bus would be a fitting way to draw attention to her success.

“Unlike a post box, our bus will be seen by large numbers of people every day over a wide area as it travels between Lizzy’s home village and the nearby town of Swanley.”

The bus is currently being painted and will be back in service on the 478 next week.

In the meantime, more than 53,000 people have signed a petition calling for Royal Mail to paint West Kingsdown’s village post box gold after Lizzy won Great Britain’s first gold medal in the women’s skeleton at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Post boxes were painted gold in the hometowns of every gold medallist at the London 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

What a gold Arriva bus to honour Lizzy Arnold could look like. Graphic Ashley Austen

What a gold Arriva bus to honour Lizzy Arnold could look like. Graphic: Ashley Austen

Royal Mail has refused saying the 2012 Games were a unique event and they changed the colour of postboxes to commemorate extraordinary achievements during the legacy games.

Excited and proud of their daughter, Judith and Clive Yarnold, would love to see the symbolic golden postbox in their hometown.

Lizzy’s mum said: “I was really disappointed when I heard West Kingsdown would not be getting a golden postbox.

“It was a lovely gesture from Royal Mail to paint the postboxes in the hometowns of the London 2012 winners gold. We would absolutely love it if the gesture was extended to Lizzy.

“It’s much more than just celebrating Lizzy’s remarkable achievement – it’s about inspiring the next generation to take up a sport and dedicate themselves to it.”

Someone took matters into their own hands overnight last Wednesday by taking a pot of paint to the box in Hever Road.

The 25-year-old former Maidstone Grammar School for Girls student carried the Union flag in yesterday’s closing ceremony.

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