For just 1, more than 5,000 communities have turned our iconic red phone boxes into something that brings more value and enjoyment to local people - from libraries, to food banks, and defibrillators.
Designed by English architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the British phonebox went through a number of tweaks in the 1920s and early 1930s, before the K6 model was introduced to commemorate the silver jubilee of King George V in 1936.
Nowadays, the K6 still represents roughly 20 per cent of Britain's phone boxes. Payphone use has plunged by more than 80 per cent in the last five years, BT admits, and the majority of phonebooths lose the telco money, it claims.
With 11,000 K6 models still scatted throughout the country, everyone knows you don't need to go to a museum to stand in one. However, Londoners may find it's the only phonebooth in the city that hasn't been put into service as a urinal or to advertise the amatory services of ladies of ill repute.
Though classic red phone boxes of the United Kingdom have largely fallen out of use in modern times, one village has given the local payphone new life. After the phone was removed from this box, the residents of Millbourne in Wiltshire turned it into a library. Donated books fill the miniature library at the old red phone box on Milbourne Lane. Other villagers can borrow and return the books on an informal basis.
If you wish to support the enterprise and donate to the village library, or simply wish to see a quaint new twist on the classic red phone box, this is the place to come. The village is also a suitable jumping off point to explore the countryside or the nearby town of Malmesbury.
Often, these historic features are there because a town or village could not bear to be parted with their old-style phone box, at a time when BT was replacing them all with modern, yellow, silver and glass objects. Now, even these less attractive boxes are vanishing from our streets in a world where almost everyone has a phone in their pocket, that also does far more than one in a box would ever do, even if you did have enough change to use it.
But, even though we still have a smattering of the red phone boxes up and down Wales and the rest of the UK, look inside and you're unlikely to find anything capable of making a phone call. Rather, you might find library books, eggs for sale from the local farm, or simply nothing. You can get more Swansea news and other story updates straight to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletters here.
For the past thirty-five years, Roy has been collecting pre-1970s original parts for his telephone box, including an 'A' and 'B' button box which he bought at an antique fair in the Brangwyn Hall for 84. The original 'A' and 'B' phones were first introduced in 1925 but most were replaced by the 1970s.
Roy said that when he first purchased the telephone box all those years ago, it was in a 'ridiculous state' and seventy-two glass panes needed replacing, but his nostalgic item is now marvelled at by passers-by in Gorseinon with many interested locals asking to look inside it. He said he was gifted many of the telephone box parts by former Post Office workers. You can read more stories about Gorseinon here.
\"I look at it differently to other people\", he said, adding \"I mean, that telephone box dates back to around 1936. It's gone through the war before there were mobiles or house phones. So I imagine the good news, the bad news and the people waiting to get in there. I can remember queuing outside telephone boxes when I was young. I can't imagine what's happened in that box over the years- it's got a lot of history.\"
I find it shocking and sad to see these old-fashioned symbols of England filled with sleezy ads for prostitutes every night. Perhaps they will have to be put inside of locked buildings at night to preserve their character. How about using them as charging stations for cell phones with dead batteries with a coin-operated system
Hi Rick,Just a suggestion. How about a Jick Steves booth filled with top tourist information. Great for getting tourist bearings and also for ifo about update of places to see. The booth could have a numbers lock that a Rick Steves tour guide could i phone you or at your web site. Might show these Yanks really do care about the Red Phone Booths.
Hi Rick,I just returned from a visit to the Tuscany region of Italy. We were in Barga and there was one of the Red telephone booths there doing double duty as a reference point for going into the old town and also as a Free Lending Library. When we got lost walking around, we just found our way back to the red telephone booth!
In a statement Cheshire Constabulary said: \"Sometime between 2.30pm and 3pm on 13 July an old style red phone box was removed from a garden in Chelford Road. The box belongs to Chelford Parish Council and no one had given permission for it to be removed.
In March 2006, as part of a competition organised by the Design Museum and BBC Television to find Britain's favourite design icon since 1900, the Telephone Box was placed in the top ten by the British public.
In Bristol, residents have rallied to create a tiny library. Locals in the Frenchay Hill area spent six months renovating the phone box, which has been fitted with shelves used to stock books donated by the community.
London's had phone boxes for more than 100 years. The earliest, known as the 'K1', was introduced in 1921. These were soon superseded by the first true 'red phone box' (the K2), many of which can still be found around London today.
The K2 was designed by Giles Gilbert Scott, who also gave us Waterloo Bridge, Bankside Power Station (now Tate Modern) and Battersea Power Station. His iconic phone box was reputedly inspired by the tomb of architect John Soane in Old St Pancras Cemetery. (Soane's tower on Dulwich Picture Gallery is another contender.)
Giles Gilbert Scott was back to improve upon his earlier masterpiece. The new phone box, known today as K6, was initially called the Jubilee Design, as its announcement coincided with George V's 25th year on the throne.
The Jubilee Design proved a success and became by far the most populous type of kiosk (thanks also to reforms in how the Post Office budgeted for phone boxes in smaller towns and villages). Some 8,000 were installed as part of the \"Jubilee Concession\", eventually rising to 60,000 over the following decades.
The iconic British-style phone box was spotted by Bray Councillor Erika Doyle, who said that the phone box will not be a permanent fixture in the town, but caused great amounts of amusement during its short cameo.
The now infamous red phone box is believed to be a prop for a movie that is currently being filmed in Bray, rumoured to be involving Irish actor, Johnathon Rhys Meyers, although locals could not see any filming equipment.
Admittedly, those that have survived the onslaught of the mobile phone are more for display than for use, but they remain a popular tourist attraction in their own right and every day you can see people squeezing into them to have their photos taken in something that is as much a part of the London streetscape as Tower Bridge and Big Ben,
An indispensable part of the UK streetscape, what was once a symbol of a remarkable technology has become a piece of heritage. The last remaining phone boxes survive not because they are needed but rather because they are in conservation areas and are protected, like the buildings around them.
A few of the remaining examples have been turned into anything from art installations and cafés to greenhouses and even micro-libraries. The phone box survives, like so many of the more interesting aspects of the British landscape, as heritage, a part of the national identity the use of which, quite soon, will be obscure and distant. 59ce067264