I HAD to rub my eyes just to check - yes the phone box on the Stratford Road had disappeared and its spot tarmaced over.
Am I alone in mourning the passing of these iconic structures? BT will tell us that phone boxes are now largely ignored except by vandals, who take great joy in urinating in them, stealing the cash box and smashing the rest.
Everyone’s got a mobile phone they’ll tell you - but the fact is not everyone has, and many of those that do are finding that the cost of operating the blessed things is extortionate - hundreds of pounds a year in some cases, if not more.
The mobile phone companies know it too, sendng out profit warnings as people find one of the quickest ways to save money is to stop using them.
Factor in a credit crunch and that handy little gadget in your pocket or handbag is suddenly an expensive bit of kit.
However, clever old BT has at the same time been busy removing the alternative - the phone box.
Now many, like the one in Hampton in Arden, is purely for decoration. Others, often in the middle of nowhere - the sort of place where you might need a call box - and miles away from any vandal, are for emergency use only.
It’s a ridiculous state of affairs.