A SHINY new red post box is back in a small hamlet after a four year campaign for a replacement since the last one was stolen.

Colchester Road in Stones Green has been left without a postbox since the previous one disappeared, along with all the mail, in 2014.

Since then, Martin Kirby has been petitioning Royal Mail for a new one.

He said the villagers, especially the elderly, had been left with an impossible walk to drop-off letters as the nearest post box is down rural roads with no footpaths and speeding cars.

Despite being rejected numerous times, the 51-year-old kept fighting.

He said: "After there was an article in the paper last year I got in touch with MP Bernard Jenkin and he wrote on behalf of me and the residents to the new chief executive of Royal Mail and got a very positive response.

"It's quite curious why they changed their minds but we are all very grateful as now we have a postbox for the first time in four years.

"I was getting to the point I was at the end of my tether.

"It has taken four years of very hard work.

"But some things have to be fought for or they are lost forever."

Mr Kirby, 50, said Royal Mail had offered different reasons as to why the post box couldn't be replaced but said it had been a ridiculous saga where residents were forced to plan posting letters and cards around doing their shopping in town.

A spokesman for Royal Mail said: "I can confirm that the postbox has been replaced and will be opened as soon as the collection time notice is placed on the front of the box."