Here is a cutting from issue 400 (2020) of the Fortean Times:
Tag Archives: curiosity
The Guardian has published an uplifting piece about tiny places and I’m glad to see a phone box has made the list. Click here for the full article.
Warley Museum, West Yorkshire
When the local community association opened up the floor to buying and converting a Warley telephone box in 2016, artists Paul Czainski, 69, and his wife Chris (pictured) suggested turning it into a museum. “Once we’d put our hands up, it was our responsibility,” says Paul, who has turned the back wall into a local history display, made a mosaic floor of broken bits dug up from allotments and etched famous Yorkshire images into its glass panels. Displays change every three months and have included “the world’s smallest art exhibition” – teeny works by 40 artists – and collections of beer bottle tops and fossils.
It’s free to enter and accommodates two at a time, though displays are visible from outside. Upkeep is a cinch as Paul and Chris live across the road. “The charm is people can walk past without realising, then be drawn back for a closer look. We love to see their reactions. It’s only little, but it’s very important.”
We’ve started watching ‘Mindhunter’, set in the USA in the 1970s. There was mention of a serial killer who, when expecting to be hunted by police and finding he was not, rang in from a phone booth to confess. Here’s a screen shot from Wikipedia:
Gile Gilbert Scott, the English architect who designed the red telephone box, was born on the 9th November 1880. Google celebrated this with a fancy remake of its own icon.
Unexpectedly came across this when on the way to the beach…
This article in the Guardian showes how relevant phone boxes still are to communities in the modern world. (A small piece of good news in a time when 98% of news articles just bring me down.)
Drum rolls, bread rolls and rolling wheels – the upside of lockdown
It is heart warming to see every aspect of society transformed to join the effort against coronavirus, with Harry Potter buses turning into NHS shuttles, an old red phone box becoming a food hub, and an ancient water mill brought back into action to tackle the flour shortage…
Village in Scotland turns phone box into community larder
A disused red phone box has been transformed into a mini food hub, stocking groceries and other essentials for residents struggling with the coronavirus lockdown.
Muthill, a village in Perth and Kinross, Scotland, is home to 675 residents. Corinna Robertson and Susan Crawford decided to set up the “take what you need” service after realising just how badly the lockdown had hit some people.
“We realised this is worse than we thought. People are off work and have no income and it’ll take a while for them to get money through,” said Robertson, a 52-year-old garage worker who was recently furloughed.
The larder, which was set up on 9 April, is particularity useful for those who cannot drive and who might struggle to get to the nearby town of Crieff to stock up. “The response has been incredible. The local pub, which no longer has income, donated chocolate Easter lollies for kids,” she added. “It’s great community spirit.”
They have even considered keeping the hub open after the lockdown finishes to help people get back on their feet. “People might be in this predicament for a while, being behind with bills.”
For the full article click here: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2020/apr/15/drum-rolls-bread-rolls-and-rolling-wheels
It isn’t just WeWork’s now-pulled IPO that’s toxic at the company: according to a Business Insider report, the company emailed its tenants on Monday telling them that there was “potentially elevated levels of formaldehyde” in phone booths throughout WeWork offices in the U.S. and Canada. Why they used the word potential is unclear – according to the report, the company admitted that “tests for high levels of formaldehyde came back positive late last week”.
The email stated that the company was removing 1,600 phone booth from locations that “may be impacted” in addition to 700 other booths that have yet to be tested for formaldehyde. At some WeWork spaces on Monday, there were taped signs reading: “CAUTION: DO NOT USE” over the phone booths.
The company stated in its email that it had received complaints of “odor and eye irritation”. The EPA says that formaldehyde can cause respiratory symptoms and eye, nose and throat irritation.
Colleen Wong, a tenant at WeWork’s Rosslyn location in Arlington, Virginia said: “I always noticed, from the first time I entered a phone booth, a strong chemical odor. I assumed it was a new building / equipment type smell. Kind of like glue or a new car.”
“They had a chemical smell, like when you get something new in the mail,” a WeWork member from Minneapolis told Bloomberg.
WeWork says the high formaldehyde levels are the fault of the manufacturer of the phone booths.
I found this with other stuff I had put away in the cupboard at my mother’s house in Australia. I don’t know when I picked it up, maybe my travels in Eastern Europe c.1998. I only speak English so I don’t know if it’s funny or not…
I also found a large stash of club and band flyers from the late 1980s and early 1990s. I’m setting up a blog to share those as well. This can be found at –
We came across this beauty when holidaying in Wales. The phone-box conversion speaks to what a friendly place we found South Wales to be.
*Tag line thanks to Laurence Prescott of Brisbane, Australia.