RESIDENTS and traders are furious after a popular vintage post box was removed.

It is believed the post box near Victoria Terrace, Hove, has stood in the spot since 1927.

The door on the box has been broken since June and traders reported a crack in the box had been “painted over and painted over”

To residents’ delight, it was finally set to be removed and refurbished back to its former glory.

But disaster struck when it was picked up last Friday as it “broke in two” when being moved by Royal Mail workers.

Now, furious traders and residents are demanding it be replaced.

Louise Stack, who owns the nearby Kernel of Hove, said: “I had various emails from different departments saying it was going to be fixed for Christmas.

“They have made a terrible mistake in doing this.

“It is very important that we keep our heritage.”

Post boxes cannot be disposed of if they can be repaired and refurbished.

If the condition of the post box is beyond repair and it is not of historic interest, parts will be salvaged for the repair of other post boxes.

Recently re-elected Hove and Portslade MP, Peter Kyle, has backed residents in their campaign for a post box.

He said that “post boxes are not for decoration, they’re an important part of the fabric of our community”.

He added that “too often the Post Office acts with disdain for local views”.

Alison Taylor, from nearby hair salon Off Yer Head, said: “I’ve had clients in here who have brought in Christmas cards but now they can’t post them.

“People miss it and it was used a lot by the locals – even when the door broke.”

Penny Griffin, 53, who lives locally, said she was worried about the elderly and people with disabilities who relied on the box.

And Jillian Foley, who said she has been using the box since 1958, has called its removal “very sad”.

She said: “I miss it tremendously – it was a part of the area. I would like to see it replaced like-for-like.”

A Royal Mail spokesman said: “The post box near Victoria Terrace, Brighton, was found to be in a state of disrepair and had to be removed.

“Unfortunately the postbox was so badly damaged that it broke in two on removal so we were unable to repair it. We are currently reviewing the installation of a new postbox close to the site of the original one.”