NEW USES FOR OLD PHONE BOXES
I love the red English phone booths. Like the red doubledecker London buses, they are such national symbols, as much as the Queen and English tea. I also have memories of standing in line to use one of the kiosks to call home and friends when I was studying in England.
Sadly, the increasing use of mobile phones has made many of the iconic red payphone boxes obsolete (I'm sure this is an issue in many other countries: I can never find a public phone anymore when I need one and have forgotten my cellphone at home!). Nine years ago, there were about 17,000 across Britain, but by 2009, there were just 12,500; 58 per cent were no longer profitable and 10 per cent were used only once a month. And not only is there much less demand now for public phones, maintenance costs for each red box is £800 a year.
Luckily, British Telecoms came up with a grand idea to save them.
|repurposed red BT phone box in Westbury via dailymail|
In Westbury, the phone booth is today a popular mini lending library where villagers can borrow over 100 books, CDs and DVDs 24 hours a day.
|Westbury phone box library via dailymai|
Over in with Stourton, Wiltshire, residents hope their phone booth never becomes as popular. In fact, they would be happy if there is zero usage. This is because the booth is now equipped with a public access defibrillator, supplied and installed by the Community Heartbeat Trust.
|recycled red phone booth in Stourton has defibrillator via BBC news|
|call box at Great Shelford converted into a site for arts installations via BBC news|
The Gallery on the Green in Settle, North Yorkshire, is thought to be the smallest art gallery in the world. Drawings, paintings, photographs and other artworks no bigger than a postcard are exhibited in the recycled booth.
|recycled red phone booth in Settle (screenshot from BBC TV)|
For villagers in Draughton, North Yorkshire, the red box gives easy access to basic groceries, newspapers and everyday items - something they were left without after the post office shop closed in 2008. It works on an honesty system, with people leaving payment for what they take.
The kiosk in Waterperry, Oxfordshire, is multipurpose. It has been used as a poetry box,where villagers displayed their own and their favourite poems, a magazine swap box, as well as a fruit and vegetable market.
|repurposed red payphone box in Waterperry via thisisoxfordshire|
|repurposed BT phone box in Draughton via telegraph|
Get updates at BT Payphones - Adopt A Kiosk's Facebook page.
A few recycled phone booths elsewhere in the world, found via 1800recycling.com and unconsumption.
|phone booth recycled into aquarium in Lyon via Nicolas Nova on flickr|
This is one of my favorites: French architectural lighting designer Benoit Deseille and artist-designer Benedetto Bufalino created this aquarium from a phone booth as a street art installation demonstrating urban invasion for the Lyon Light Festival in December 2007. It was later displayed in Mauritius in October 2009.
in the virgin islands
|phone booth shower in Leverick Bay, Virgin Islands via anoldent|
in the wildnerness of finland
|phone booth toilet in Säppi, Finland via fragment.fi|
in Los Angeles
|recycled phone booth in Yellow Springs, Ohio via telephone booth project|
books are a favorite theme, it seems
|phone (now book) booth in Highland Park, LA via Half Letter Press|
|repurposed phone booth in Krimmensen, Germany via|
If I had my own red telephone booth, I'd turn it into my personal library with a little table where I can have my coffee and cake (maybe tea and cucumber sandwiches!). I could spend hours there, I'm sure!
What would YOU do with a red phone box??
Thanks for reading!
if you enjoyed this post, why not...
♥ leave me a comment
♥ follow me / subscribe
♥ link back
♥ check out my other other posts and my Bookcrossing post ~ liberal sprinkles
♥ visit my tumblr
some interesting phone booth sites
* the payphone project
* telephone tribute
* wikipedia telephone booth
by liberal sprinkles
by liberal sprinkles