Regeneration

Box clever: things to do with an old telephone kiosk

By Mark Gorton at

Yesterday’s story about the future of the red telephone box in Heswall Lower Village got people talking – thanks to everyone who interacted with the Heswall Today Facebook page.

With the box earmarked by BT for removal because no one uses it, we asked if it could be saved and given another purpose.

Several readers recalled what communities in other towns and villages had done with their red boxes, which inspired us to track down some inspirational examples.

The residents of Kington Magna, a village near Gillingham in Dorset, had to put up with a 10 mile round trip to the nearest library. Harnessing collective zeal, they bought their redundant phone box from BT for a quid and converted it into what is probably Britain’s smallest library.

Library

Library

Fighting to save their village pub, The Plough, a campaign group in Shepreth, Royston, Hertfordshire, opened up The Dog and Bone in a phone box to convince South Cambs District Council that the boozer should not be redeveloped into a five bedroom house.

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Pub

This may be a bit beyond us. Fish swim in an illuminated box in this lovely artwork called ‘Aquarium’ by Benedetto Bufalino. Let’s face it: the glass would have to be bullet proof and who would feed the fish?

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Aquarium

Over in the north east in Hexham you’ll find the phone box art gallery.

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Art gallery

Thanks to Heswall Today reader Richard Hughes who pointed out that red boxes have been converted into homes for defibrillators. Save the box and maybe save lives too?

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Life saving

The artist Banksy is a genius whose heart is very much in the right place but Heswall Lower Village may not be quite ready for a work like this one.

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Banksy

Arguably it would be best if the Lower Village can come up with something wonderfully original. The red telephone box should be preserved and be given a new function, but what could it be? Please share your ideas with Heswall Today.