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Local papers celebrate Paralympic heroes

A regional daily got out the gold paint to celebrate the Paralympic success of swimming star Ellie Simmonds.

Staff at the Swansea-based South Wales Evening Post sprayed a portable post box and took it around junior schools in the city for pupils to post Ellie their congratulations on winning two gold medals at the Games.

The result was hundreds of colourful hand-made postcards which are being published in a series of two-page spreads in the paper this week.

Ellie is from Walsall but moved to Swansea at the age of 11 to train with the city’s elite swim squad at the Wales National Pool.

Editor Spencer Feeney said: “The Royal Mail painted the post box in Ellie’s street gold, but we decided to go one step further and create a golden post

box that could be taken around the city and allow people to express their joy at Ellie’s success.

“Every school we approached was enthusiastic about the project.

“We promised that every child who made a postcard to Elle would see it in their local paper.  We will keep our word, no matter how many spreads we end up publishing.

“Swansea may be Ellie’s adoptive home, but everybody here is filled with pride at what she has achieved so far.”

Elsewhere the Shields Gazette published a four-page special alongside its front page report of local teenager Josef Craig’s triumph in the pool.

Reporter Lisa Nightingale joined friends and family at a local pub to watch Josef grab the gold – and break the world record for the second time in one


Lisa even got in touch with Number 10 where Prime Minister David Cameron paid a touching tribute to Josef which made a front page follow-up on the Saturday.

Gazette editor John Szymanski said: “The whole of South Tyneside has been backing Josef to the hilt in what has been a historic  sporting victory, and we are all so proud as well as delighted for him.”

  • How has your paper marked the success of its local Paralympic heroes?  Send your front pages to