Archway postboxes were sealed with black tape ‘because Royal Mail lost master key’

PUBLISHED: 12:13 13 October 2016 | UPDATED: 12:13 13 October 2016

A taped up letter box in Cressida Road, Archway. Picture: Dorothy Boswell

A taped up letter box in Cressida Road, Archway. Picture: Dorothy Boswell


Postboxes in Archway were sealed with black tape last week leaving locals in a flap – but the mystery may have been solved.

"You would have thought the sorting office of all people could get themselves sorted"

Cllr Dave Poyser

After days of confusion and nothing in the way of an explanation from postal workers, or indeed Archway post office, rumours started doing the rounds that the master key had been lost by a clumsy postman.

One user posted on Facebook: “My partner asked at Hornsey sorting office the other day – it’s apparently not because of the roadworks [Archway gyratory], but because the master set of keys to all the post boxes in the area has been lost, so they have to seal all the boxes until they can change all the locks on all the boxes (or find the keys).”

The problem was fixed on Saturday, to the relief of anyone who had posted important documents in the preceding week.

Hillrise’s Cllr Dave Poyser said: “You would have thought the sorting office of all people could get themselves sorted.

“It’s all right to lose a postal service for a couple of hours, but this has gone on for days and even in the electronic age, we still rely on letter boxes for all sorts of formal transactions.

“Obviously residents could walk a bit further to another postbox but more than one was sealed, and there was no explanation and no sign saying where the nearest open letter box could be found.

“You would have thought the Royal Mail, of all institutions, could prepare and deliver a note to the residents affected saying what was going on and where the nearest open letterbox can be found.

“Just because the letterbox is sealed, it doesn’t mean the lips of the people who messed up the system should be sealed.

“Letters in the boxes could include things like passport applications, notices to courts and applications that are now out of date.”

A comment from Royal Mail had not arrived as the Gazette went to press, but is expected to turn up in a couple of days.

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