DCSIMG

Stirling post box firm fears closure

Traditional red post boxes are under threat from cheaper stainless steel alternatives. Picture: TSPL

Traditional red post boxes are under threat from cheaper stainless steel alternatives. Picture: TSPL

THE iconic red post box may soon be a thing of the past as orders for the cast-iron structures have reportedly dried up,

A Stirlingshire-based firm that manufactures the boxes say that they are failing to secure new business as cheaper stainless steel alternatives are being built in Newcastle.

Machan Engineering in Denny have been the sole provider of Royal Mail post boxes since the 80s, but the firm has not received an order for over a month - the first time in the company’s history.

And the lack of new orders could lead to redundancies at the small firm, staffed by just 10 employees.

Companies that provide the raw materials for Machan may also be affected should the traditional post boxes are abandoned by Romec, the firm that buys the boxes from the Denny firm.

Lisa McDonald, a spokeswoman for Machan, said: “We have a small staff of about 10, three of whom make the post boxes, including a father and son team.

“We are now in the position that it is, likely they will have to be laid off.

“It is not just us. The pillar boxes are cast at Ballantynes in Bo’ness and the lamp boxes at Specialist Castings, two small family firms.

“We have never had a block of time this long where the orders have dried up. I can’t keep staff on in the hope hew orders may come soon.”

A spate of firework-related damage to post boxes has meant a spike in orders in previous years.

Ms McDonald said that the lack of work could be a preamble to a withdrawal from Scotland, which she said could tie in with the selling off of the Royal Mail and the independence referendum in 2014.

A Royal Mail spokesman said: “Our arrangements for the manufacturer of cast iron post boxes remain in place.

“We will continue to place further orders for cast iron post boxes as and when required.”

 

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