The new Exchange Square has been transformed by a unique paving design which reflects Sir Rowland Hill’s Penny Black stamp. Record stack seating near the Rowland Hill statue is also a nod to the music heritage of the town.
Cllr Tracey Onslow, Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Regeneration at Wyre Forest District Council said:
“As part of the public realm regeneration development, feedback from residents reflected our aspiration to highlight Kidderminster’s heritage, so this formed part of the brief to the designers.
“2015 was the 175th anniversary of the Penny Postage, the work of Sir Rowland Hill, born in Blackwell Street in 1795. We felt that designing the Penny Black imagery into the new paving was a striking and lasting way of paying tribute to Sir Rowland Hill and his contribution to our postal system.
Colin Hill, Chairman of Kidderminster’s Heritage Opportunities Group said,
“It’s great that we have a mailbox in keeping with the heritage theme and we are keen to further develop this theme throughout the town.”
The Edwardian postbox has been refurbished by Royal Mail in its 500th anniversary year. It was 500 years ago that Henry VIII knighted Brian Tuke, the first Master of the Posts. The historic mailbox is a replacement for the one which was removed in the square to make way for the new paving being laid in the public areas of the town.
Karen English, Process and Collections Director for Royal Mail in the Midlands, said:
“Kidderminster has played a hugely influential role in the development of Royal Mail as we know it today. We are delighted to see this important piece of the town’s heritage restored to its rightful place at the heart of the redeveloped Exchange Square.”
Stefan Schampier, Head of Delivery Performance for Royal Mail West Midlands said,
“I am delighted to take up this fantastic opportunity to present the official opening of this Edwardian postbox in this most amazing of squares. The people of Kidderminster should be extremely proud, and rightly so. I am personally honoured to be here today and I believe the postbox complements the statue of Sir Rowland Hill, the founder of the Penny Black who was born in this beautiful town.”
Wyre Forest District Council has also recently installed the Penny Black imagery on the finger post in the square near the Town Hall (pictured below) as a further heritage feature.
Wyre Forest District Council’s Joanne Bowkett, Deputy Manager at Kidderminster Town Hall getting into the Edwardian spirit with Stefan Schampier, Head of Delivery Performance Royal Mail, West Midlands to officially launch the heritage postbox in Exchange Square Kidderminster.
Stefan Schampier, Head of Delivery Performance Royal Mail, West Midlands, Kidderminster Postman Andrew Jones, Kidderminster Heritage Opportunities Group members Dave Laverty and Peter Picken with Wyre Forest District Council’s Joanne Bowkett, Deputy Manager at Kidderminster Town Hall getting into the Edwardian spirit to officially launch the heritage postbox in Exchange Square Kidderminster.
Kidderminster Heritage Opportunities group members Colin Hill, Dave Laverty and Peter Picken, Toby Woods Asset Team Manager from Romec, Kidderminster Postman Andrew Jones, Wyre Forest District Council’s Joanne Bowkett Deputy Manager of Kidderminster Town Hall and Stefan Schampier Head of delivery Performance Royal Mail West Midlands.