Wye villagers discuss uses for phone boxes
Villagers are considering future uses for a red telephone
box in Wye, with an information point or a defibrillator housing
being two options.
Wye with Hinxhill Parish Council adopted the redundant Grade-II
listed K6 phone box at Upper Bridge Street to preserve it as part
of the street scene.
The box was moved five metres along the pavement on January 7 to
allow access to the entrance steps of the medieval undercroft,
which is being restored.
The parish council adopted the phone box to ensure the
renovation of the cellar, which is the village’s oldest secular
building, could go ahead.
Parish councillor Richard Bartley said: “The parish council has
always understood that BT intended to maintain the phone box in a
functional state, and therefore the council has not had to consider
other options. This situation has now changed.”
BT asked for
£9,000 to move and reinstate it as a working phone box, but as it
was being used for calls less than twice a week and the minimum
charge is now 60p, the council felt it did not make financial
As a result the parish council opted to adopt the box from BT
for a nominal fee of £1. The phone and wiring was subsequently
removed but power will be returned to the phone box as part of the
The parish council is considering suitable uses for it and is
One option being looked at, considering the elderly population
in the village, is to house a life-saving defibrillator to restart
someone’s heart should they suffer a cardiac arrest.
Cllr Bartley said: “We’re open to suggestions for a future use
for it. The two views put forward so far are as an information
point or as a defibrillator housing.”
“The only problem with that is you would need people to be
trained to use it and the phone box would need to be locked.”
In nearby Bodsham their red telephone box has been put to good
use as a library. Other parish councils have converted boxes into
museums, photo galleries and swap shops.
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