A RARE Victorian pillar box which has served Studley for 140 years was destroyed in an instant when a minibus ploughed into it, writes Julian Seva.

The accident near Spernal Ash Junction, Alcester Road, on Sunday afternoon left the cast ironwork of the listed 'Penfold' post box in pieces.

It is believed there were only two in Birmingham and few nationwide.

A Toyota minibus heading towards Alcester collided with a Rover before veering across the road and demolishing the post box, a telephone interchange box and a fence.

The remnants of the hexagonal box and minibus ended up in a back garden two houses away.

There were no serious injuries according to police.

Resident Tom Hemming said: "It was only restored three years ago and was in beautiful condition.

"People knew it as a landmark and they would come and take photographs of it."

Studley historian Ray Lamb said: "It's a real shame it has been destroyed.

"This was a rare example and has been there for 140 years.

"I hope it's not just dumped, maybe we could have the pieces."

A post office spokesman said a temporary box would be installed later this week.

He added: "We will look to see if we can put a replica in but will have to look at costs first."

The post box was originally made by Grove and Cochrane of Dudley and was restored in 1997 by Moseley company Wheeler Fabrications.