Instead of complaining when their classic red telephone box was decommissioned, villagers in Waldron decided to convert it into a community asset.
Now the distinctive K6 telephone box – already open to the public – is a village library and also houses a debrillator.
Local people decided the landmark box is central to the identity of the rural community so focused their attention on improving and refurbishing it without sacrificing character. The existing box was extensively smartened and now has a new hardwood door surround with new polycarbonate glass panes inserted into the aluminium door latticework so they are easy to clean.
Scheme co-ordinator Roy Wilkinson said: “The telephone box was moved many years ago from its first location near the post office to a spot outside the school. Now the work has been done it is still a beacon in the village High Street. There’s a small library available – stocked with paperbacks on tiers of shelving – and we invite people to borrow books and they can also donate books to build up the stock.”
The defibrillator is also available for use in a medical emergency and instructions for use are clearly visible and easy to understand. Mr Wilkinson pointed out prompt use can and does save lives.
He went on: “It’s easy for these assets to disappear from villages. We used to have a little shop but sadly that had to close as there was just not enough business in the village. But thankfully it is still going strong as a coffee shop next door to the pub.”
The K6 telephone boxes were designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and are painted a distinctive ‘currant red.’
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