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Bickenhill parish council pays £1 for village telephone kiosk

BICKENHILL Parish Council has paid a pound for the red call box which stands at the heart of its village.

kiosk

BICKENHILL Parish Council has paid a pound for the red call box which stands at the heart of its village.

Earlier this year, BT announced plans to remove the classic kiosks from locations around the country. But the telecoms-giant is also giving local authorities the chance to save their box.

Many residents have said that the phone box adds to the character of the neighbourhood. Now the council has officially "adopted" it and will ensure it remains a permanent fixture on St Peter's Lane.

Although the kiosk is rarely used and the pay-phone itself will be removed, the committee felt that £1 was a small price to pay to keep something which has been in use for decades.

Although the phone will not have a practical use, the council will now be responsible for making sure it doesn't fall into disrepair.

Frank Bunce, chairman of Bickenhill Parish Council, said: "The parish council has decided it is important to keep such an iconic British image that is so synonymous with a village landscape.

"We are pleased the villager have decided they would like it retained."

For the rather larger sum of £500 per year, councils can decide to sponsor the kiosk and keep the phone inside. It was ultimately decided that the Bickenhill box wasn't used regularly enough to warrant the cost.

The K6 or Jubilee kiosk - known for its bright red colour - was introduced in 1936. Over the years the design evolved, but it was the traditional style which stayed in people's mind.

Although the parish council aren't sure when exactly the kiosk was erected on St Peter's Lane, it would have been at some point between 1936-1955. Red boxes can also be found in Barston, Berkswell, Knowle and a number of other borough neighbourhoods.

Communities have until November 1 to decide if they want to sponsor or adopt their local box. Go to www.payphones.bt.com/adopt_a_kiosk/HTML/payphone/index.htm.

 

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