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Sunday, 27 February, 2000, 11:34 GMT
Man in a flap over post-boxes
Arthur Reeder
Arthur Reeder has a first class collection
An electrician from Harrow has a truly first class collection. He has amassed 91 post-boxes.

Arthur Reeder, 44, loves post-boxes so much that he regularly travels to Scotland and Ireland to spot different models.

He has just bought his 91st model.

post boxes
Arthur's post boxes are dotted all over his house
Mr Reeder has post-boxes, pillar boxes and wall boxes in almost every room of his small three bedroom terraced house in Middlesex.

He also has some in the front garden.

"I even had one in the bathroom until, that is, my girlfriend Janet told me to take it out," he said.

'Not an anorak thing'

Mr Reeder began his collection 10 years ago after deciding he needed something to really fire his imagination.

"I tried train and railway items, but that is a very expensive hobby. Then it occurred to me that I could collect post boxes.

"It's a cheap hobby. And it's not an anorak thing, like train spotting.

They think I'm totally loony and barking mad

Arthur Reeder
He says when he tells people about his passion for post-boxes they think it is interesting.

However his three children are not so impressed.

"They think I'm totally loony and barking mad but they're quite impressed all the same," he said.

Mr Reeder spends all his spare time collecting post boxes.

The earliest model in his collection dates back to 1861 and was cast in the reign of Queen Victoria.

It forms the centrepiece of his collection which is worth many thousands of pounds.

"It's not exactly a common hobby," Mr Reeder said.

"There must be only around 800 of us around the world who collect them so there's never going to be much money in it but that's not the point.

"I just enjoy them for what they are," he said.

His partner Janet has a perfect way of coping with Mr Reeder's unusual hobby.

She's taken to collecting small porcelain cats - lots of them.

"They're all over the house but then pillar boxes and cats go well together," Mr Reeder said.
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