The article “Red telephone boxes: 7 fantastic alternative uses for a British icon,” published on Country Life, looks at seven unique ways the K2 telephone box has been transformed over the years to serve another purpose.

Sir Giles Gilbert Scott

The ubiquitous red telephone box is a British icon.

Designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, who won a Post Office sponsored competition in 1924 to design it, the red telephone box served as a vital communication tool for millions across Great Britain. More than 1,700 K2 boxes were installed across Great Britain, but when you include all models designed by Scott that jumps to over 15,000.

Saving the red telephone box

Sadly, the red telephone box couldn’t keep up with technology. As landline telephones and mobile phones became popular, the red telephone box saw its user numbers decline considerably. BT started to decommission the boxes and over 90 per cent of them have been scrapped. But due to their iconic status, some have been saved.

The article on Country Life details a few of these saved boxes, which local communities saved themselves or with the help of the Adopt a Kiosk scheme.

One has been transformed into a ‘colour therapy’ box, another into a ‘cake’ box. One has been turned into a ‘memorial’ box, while another has been turned into a ‘lifesaver’ box. Perhaps the most interesting use of the K2 however is as a ‘beach shower’ box. This can be found in Leverick Bay in the British Virgin Islands.

You can find out more about these red telephone boxes on Country Life.