The article “Britain’s classic red telephone boxes get a makeover,” written by Francesca Street for CNN, looks at the interesting ways people and projects are saving the classic red telephone box from extinction on British streets.
The ‘red telephone box’
Designed in 1924 by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the ubiquitous red telephone box is part of Britain’s national identity. It is as much a landmark on London’s streets as the Tower of London is on the north bank of the River Thames. Thankfully, despite being decommissioned over time and neglected by authorities, they are being saved from destruction.
The ‘Adopt a kiosk’ program
Francesca Street covers some of the interesting ways people are doing just that. One of the most prominent ways is the “adopt a kiosk” program, introduced by British Telecom a few years ago. With this scheme, people can adopt a disused phone box and turn it into something useful for the community. An example being in Brighton, where one entrepreneur sells sunglasses and hats from the phone boxes.
Another important aspect of Street’s article is raising awareness of red telephone boxes in rural areas. Red telephone boxes can be found all over the United Kingdom. One community in the Scottish hamlet of Marywell in Ballogie converted their red telephone box into a tiny internet café with Wi-Fi – perfect for a rural area with limited 4G connectivity. And, importantly, perfect for an area that loves a little bit of history.
You can discover more interesting uses for the red telephone box at Francesca Street’s article on CNN