A telephone box can be turned into anything from a little library to a gin bar.
With mobile phones now a big part of our lives (how did we cope without them?), the infamously-British red telephone boxes located on street corners and next to bus shelters are being used less and less. Rather than remove them, BT is able to offer communities the opportunity to keep these telephone kiosks, and all you need is a £1.
As part of BT’s Adopt a Kiosk Scheme, you can pay just £1 to help repurpose a telephone box and it can be transformed into anything from little libraries to defibrillator stations. Around 4,000 telephone boxes have become available to adopt by recognised local authorities, community or parish councils, registered charities and private landowners who have a telephone box on their land. However, if you fancy a telephone box for yourself you can buy one here.
The Community Heartbeat Trust, a charity that helps to install defibrillators, has transformed around 800 disused phone boxes across the country. The charity has even created a map (because who doesn’t love a map?) for you to find your nearest telephone box-converted defibrillator station.
Martin Fagan, the Trust’s secretary, said: “With something as serious as a cardiac arrest, time is of the essence. Unfortunately, ambulance services often can’t reach country villages in time. To install defibrillators in disused phone boxes is ideal, as they’re often in the centre of the village. And it means the iconic red kiosk can remain a lifeline for the community.”
Since BT launched their Adopt a Kiosk scheme, more than 5,000 communities across the UK have seized the opportunity to do something wonderful with local phone boxes that had little or no usage. Other uses aside from defibrillator stations and libraries include a food bank drop off point, art gallery, colour therapy room, exhibition and information centres.
There is even a pub in remote Argyll and Bute, known as The Wee Bar, that serves an assortment of gin within the telephone box. One telephone box in Strathkinness in Scotland acts as a gallery with one exhibition allowing visitors to write a message in a bottle, and in Bath, one was transformed into a cash machine.
Find out how to adopt a telephone box here.