VILLAGERS in Bentley turned theirs into a DVD and book exchange – and now BT is offering communities in Bromsgrove the chance to adopt their old telephone boxes too – for just £1.
More than 3,600 telephone boxes are available for adoption across England and BT says it will also consider adoption requests to house defibrillators in more modern boxes.
The telecoms giant is encouraging community groups to seize the opportunity to do something wonderful with phone boxes that have little or no usage. Already, more than 5,800 payphones have been adopted by communities since 2008.
And BT says it will continue to provide electricity (if already in place) to power the light for adopted kiosks, free of charge to communities.
Where electricity is available, adopted boxes can be used as housings for defibrillators.
Other new ventures include conversions to mini-libraries, miniature art museums, cake shops and information centres. One payphone in Devon was even turned into the ‘world’s smallest nightclub’.
In Bentley they converted their ‘K6’ designed telephone box – made to mark the Silver Jubilee of King George V in 1935 – into a book / DVD exchange and information point.
“I suppose like the majority of people in the village I saw the removal of the telephone box as inevitable,” said Lyn Hancock, the driving force behind its renovation after it was adopted by the parish council.
“The parish council were looking for organisations or people in the village to help with its upkeeep and come up with ideas to use the space.”
Lyn’s idea, in memory of former resident Mike Hancock, was adopted and with help from Jay Interiors the phone box was re-born.
The telephone boxes currently up for adoption are on Groveley Lane in Cofton Hackett and Church Street in Alvechurch.
For more details visit www.bt.com/adopt