THE famous Colne Valley Postal History Museum is set to open to the public tomorrow.

The fascinating private collection spans 160 years of post and telephone history and is home to the largest collection of old post boxes in mainland UK.

The collection has been built up over a number of years by one man and now comprises 125 exBritish Post Office letter boxes together with 25 stamp vending machines, documents, uniforms and associated artefacts.

Collection owner, Steve Knight, said: “Kids can dress up in old Post Office uniforms and Victorian Postman’s hats, try their hand at cancelling stamps on letters or use the old LSD coins in our stamp vending machines.

“There is plenty to see and touch in this huge collection that covers just about every aspect of the old General Post Office and it’s work.

“Its situated in the grounds of a private house and is only open for viewing on special open days, so grab the chance while you can.”

Steve started collecting post boxes about 20 years ago having been fascinated by the differences between them for many years.

A dedicated band of volunteers are on hand to help with the restoration work, but particularly the movement of larger exhibits into the Museum.

Most boxes in the museum have been out of use for many years and are often damaged or in poor condition.

The team have to repair them to professional standards, replace missing locks and fittings and, if appropriate, fit a contemporary collection plate.

The 366 sq.ft. of covered accommodation provides dry storage for the oldest iron boxes, documents, delicate items such as the stamp machines, and of course the wooden-backed Ludlow boxes.

The later cast iron boxes are displayed in the leafy setting of a suburban garden.

The museum will be open free of charge from 10am to 4pm tomorrow.

You can find the Colne Valley Postal Museum at 109 Head Street, Halstead.