Tag Archives: UK

Telephone Kiosk collection (1)

In August we visited the Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings in Worcestershire – https://avoncroft.org.uk/ . The Museum is, in itself, definitely worth a visit – especially as dogs are welcome, but I went mainly to see the National Collection of Telephone Kiosks. An unexpected nerdy and cool feature what how they’d hooked up the boxes on display to the small on-site exchange. You can makes calls between the boxes.

Recent viewing

Residents help save Kent’s red phone boxes

Cross-post from Kent Online

They may be disappearing across the country but residents in Kent have come up with unique ways to save our iconic red phone boxes. At one point there were at least 400, but thanks to the introduction of mobile phones only around 25 remain and there have been determined efforts to ensure no more are culled.

Several have been turned into life-saving defibrillator stations as local groups seek to put them to good use. Now with plans emerging to turn one in Bearsted into a book swap shop, we take a look at some of the county’s more unusual phone boxes.


Adam Smith in the Bodsham phone box library

Villagers in Bodsham may lay claim to having started the county’s trend for converting red phone boxes when they turned theirs into a mini library in 2012. It was saved after being among 400 culled by BT in 2008. Residents quickly embraced the idea and handed over books and magazines they no longer had a use for, while others sold plants and jars of green tomato and apple chutney. Nutty Thrupp used the proceeds to raise money for the Vanessa Grant Trust, which helps support handicapped children in Kenya.

Plans are currently underway to save a red telephone box in Deal at risk of being decommissioned by British Telecom. Beverley-Jayne Last, Kerry Banks, and Chrissi Dunn, were inspired to set up a fundraising campaign after around 400 residents suggested it be turned into a combined Public Access Defibrillator site (PAD) and community library. They have written to Deal Town Council asking them to consider being the official ‘adoptees’ of the box, in Alfred Square, at a cost of £1.

MP Charlie Elphicke pledged to help with the negotiations with BT and £150 has already been raised. Book lover Abegael Tomlin has been working with Chartham parish council to turn the village green’s run-down phone box into a miniature library. The 22-year-old, who works as a veterinary assistant, was searching for a spot to set up a community book swap after spotting one in Chestfield.

She earlier told KentOnline: “I knew we had a phone box on the green that doesn’t get used very much, and I thought that’s a nice place for it.”

The parish council needs permission from BT to adopt the booth, and the plan is to fill it with books the community can then borrow.

Resident Sally Devere raised £1,750 to set up a life-saving defibrillator in a converted red phone box in Herne Bay High Street. It is still going strong despite being vandalised twice in the space of three months. A vandal urinated inside the phone box and ripped its hi-vis jacket to shreds in February before thieves attempted to steal the lifesaving equipment in May. Ms Devere has been lobbying the council to install a CCTV camera close to the converted phone box to try and prevent future attacks.

Life-saving devices have also been set up in converted red phone boxes in West Malling, Aylesford, Broadstairs, Lydd and New Romney – although the latter were also targeted by thieves.

Meanwhile, who could forget artist Joe Sweeney set up Brexit phone booth in Romney Marsh as part of interactive digital art project. It gave Brexiteers and remainers an opportunity to say goodbye to the EU in the run up to the original UK leaving date in March. Hundreds took the opportunity to do just that, including famous faces such as fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, former Green Party leader MP Caroline Lucas, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan.


The ‘Brexit’ phone box in Dungeness. Picture: Dan Glasser, courtesy of Joe Sweeney and Cob Gallery

The ‘+44 Leave a message for Europe’ project was inspired by a 1990s phone box, and its location in Dungeness – the UK’s most south-easterly point and Britain’s only desert – was deliberately chosen by Mr Sweeney to create a physical and poetic metaphor for the current, confused and uncertain, climate.

Fancy having your own phone box? Well, you can get your hands on one for just a £1.

BT has been offering residents in the south east the opportunity via its Adopt a Kiosk scheme.

At least 3,000 have already been adopted and turned into mini-libraries, miniature art museums, cake shops, information centres, and one in Devon was transformed into the “world’s smallest nightclub”.

For details on how to apply to click here





Leyland Transport Museum

We visited the Commercial Transport Museum in Leyland over the weekend to find a telephone box on display.

I like the rules for omnibus passengers – small dogs allowed but no manspreading, for instance…

Canterbury City Council offering reward to catch graffiti vandals

I don’t think I’ve featured vandalised phone booths before – but that’s what a lot of them are like these days….

A local authority is offering a £500 reward to anyone who can help it convict vandals responsible for a series of tags across a district.

Canterbury City Council is hoping the inducement will aid its crackdown on graffiti, which it says is costing taxpayers thousands of pounds to clear up.

Community committee chairman Neil Baker says such vandalism “is having a damaging effect on our community”.

For the full article click here.

Spitalfields, London

Selfie stores

This one is in Bluewater, Kent, and seems to have an iconic foyer. (I couldn’t bring myself to step inside. I guess I’m too old for that ****)

Man who was living in Greenhithe telephone box ‘receiving the help he needs’

An update on a previous story…

A man who has been living in a telephone box in Station Road, Greenhithe, is “receiving the help he needs”. The update, from Kent County Cllr Peter Harman, follows concern for the rough sleeper, thought to be in his early 20s. He has been working to support the man alongside the Revs Carol and Andrew Avery, of St Mary, Greenhithe and St Mary, Stone.

For the full article click here.

Concern for man living in telephone box in Greenhithe

From: Kent Online 11/4/2019

Community members are trying to support a homeless man who has been living in a phone box. The rough sleeper, thought to be in his early 20s, has been staying in the makeshift shelter in Greenhithe after being homeless for about a month. His whereabouts, which were first revealed on a community Facebook page, prompted comments from concerned residents.

Kent County Councillor Peter Harman has been working to resolve the situation, alongside the Revs Carol and Andrew Avery, who run the Mary’s Child project. Cllr Harman, who represents Swanscombe and Greenhithe, has described him as a “very polite young man”, who is not believed to be a risk to residents. He has visited the man three times, in the hope of getting him “back on track”, while allowing the phone box to be used once again.

For the full article go to Kent Online

A lot more TV viewing

Abducted in plain site‘ (documentary)
Why do American sit coms like to stick classic UK phone boxes inside all the time? This from the ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt‘.
The Canadians do it too – ‘Orphan Black‘ where Felix has a phone box inside his flat.
German sci-fi drama ‘Dark‘ sets this scene for the year 1986.
Not a box as such but I like this scene from ‘Sahara’