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Royal Fail: Confused Romford residents post ordinary mail in Santa’s green and star-covered post box.

PUBLISHED: 12:45 07 January 2014 | UPDATED: 12:50 07 January 2014

Langtons School children posting their letters to Santa. Picture: Havering Council

Langtons School children posting their letters to Santa. Picture: Havering Council

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It was a case of royal fail for some confused residents after Havering Council “elves” discovered members of the public had been posting ordinary letters in Santa’s special Christmas mail box.

Some members of the public added ordinary mail to the children's letters to Father Christmas. Picture: Havering Council Some members of the public added ordinary mail to the children's letters to Father Christmas. Picture: Havering Council

The “real mail” spilled out of the festive post box - which is bright green, covered in multi-coloured stars, and clearly signed - when opened in the run-up to Christmas week.

Official Royal Mail pillars are deep red.

Around 20 items were discovered among the 500 children’s Christmas wish lists bound for the North Pole, council elves confirmed this week.

One member of the public said: “Father Christmas’s post box was so realistic and confusing, that, when opened, a lot of ordinary mail was found inside, including pre-stamped Christmas cards to ordinary postal addresses!”

The box was placed near the Clock Tower end of Romford Market between December 6 and December 18.

An Elf, who works with Father Christmas, said: “We really look forward to getting the letters from Romford Market and this year Father Christmas wrote back to almost 500 children. Christmas is a very busy time for everyone and if real cards ended up in the box by mistake, they were immediately re-directed by one of us.”

The story echoes that of half-blind 91-year-old Alf Spence, of North Yorkshire, who discovered he had been posting his letters in a red dog poo bin for two years.

Early Victorian-era Royal Mail post boxes were painted green.

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