Royal Mail bosses have been left baffled after bungling posties failed to collect letters from a “forgotten” postbox at one of the country’s busiest train stations – for 23 years.
Stunned builders working on the multi-million pound renovation of Birmingham New Street Station found the dusty old letters dating back to 1989 when they removed the dormant box last week.
Workers say they cannot understand how the letters escaped the notice of postmen who failed to empty the box – which sat in full view of thousands of commuters – for over two decades.
Royal Mail are now attempting to send the post on to their rightful destinations – but say they have no idea why the letters weren’t collected.
The box was sealed earlier this year following complaints passengers had caught their fingers in the narrow flap.
It was taken out of service as part of new security measures at the station and an “out of action” sign hung across it.
It was only when some of the dusty correspondence was opened that stunned staff realised how long the envelopes had lain unnoticed.
The post includes around a dozen letters, two postcards to Australia and a charity cheque.
One worker said: “We didn’t know it was there, to be honest.
“It was unbelievable to find the thing stuffed with old letters.“
A spokesman for Network Rail added: “For security reasons many mailboxes have been removed from stations but presumably it seems the post in this one was just missed.
“There were letters that were meant for Australia and America and postcard to people’s friends and family in there, just lying under a thick layer of dust.
“We couldn’t believe it would be missed by anyone. But with the greatest will in the world we’re not in the mail delivery business.”
Royal Mail is equally baffled by the discovery and will now try to get the post to the rightful addresses.
A spokesman stressed: “We would not seal the box with letters still in it.
“We believe customers continued to post letters, oblivious to the fact it was not being emptied.”