Tredegar gets gold postbox to honour Paralympic cycling champion
A LITTLE corner of Tredegar has been painted gold to mark the achievement of the town's Paralympic cycling champion Mark Colbourne.
A postbox outside the town's Post Office on Commercial Street swapped its traditional red livery for gold to mark the 42-year-old's gold medal-winning ride in the C1 3km individual pursuit at the Velodrome in London.
He had already secured a silver medal in the C1 1km time trial.
Barely had the paint begun to dry on the box before townspeople whipped out cameras and camera phones to take souvenir photographs.
"It's fantastic for Mark. I know him and I know what he's had to go through to come back after a really bad injury," said Kim Pritchard, who was among the first to capture an image of the completed postbox.
"He's put Tredegar on the map and he deserves his gold."
Margaret Briggs too was busy taking photographs as the final touches were put on the new-look box.
"It's brilliant, a really nice gesture," she said.
Also there to mark the occasion was Glenys Cahill, Mr Colbourne's aunt. She said the gold medal-winning ride had been "fabulous."
"I couldn't stop crying. He's done us all proud," she said.
"He's been so determined to come back after his accident and when he's determined to do something, he will.
"It's very sad that his dad (Cecil, who died last February) wasn't here to see this because he supported Mark every step of the way. But he was looking down on him, I know.
"His silver medal on Thursday was lovely, but we knew he would go for gold again, and he did it."
Mr Colbourne has fought back after a gliding accident at Rhossili in May 2009 left him with a broken back and lower leg paralysis, and there were fears he might never walk again.
Among a 6,000-capacity crowd willing him on during his gold medal and world record-breaking ride were proud mum Margaret and daughter Jessica, 18.