Twinning ceremony for phone boxes given a new lease of life

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A small village is to hold a ceremony to twin its former phone box with another phone box 150 miles away.

The traditional kiosk in Marden, near Devizes, Wiltshire is to be twinned with a kiosk in Thurlestone, near Kingsbridge, south Devon.

Organiser Lalu Carter said the Wiltshire kiosk was being linked with a redundant K6 phone box in her parents’ village in Devon as a “bit of fun”.

Fitted with shelves, the redundant Marden kiosk, which was bought from BT for £1, is used by the village as a “swap shop” for items ranging from books to vegetables.

The kiosk and resident mannequin are also often decorated on a holiday theme.

Mrs Carter said: “We think it’s quite unusual. We thought it would be a bit of a laugh and would make people smile.

“Phone boxes are an iconic part of this country’s history and they need to be used if they are to be maintained.

“We have a motto ‘bonus est loqui’ – it’s good to talk – and we want to get people talking and bring people together to have a laugh.” Mrs Carter said that other villages have been so impressed with the way they have transformed their phone box that they were considering doing the same to theirs.

She said: “My parents, who live in Thurlestone, were inspired by what we did and have also bought the phone box in their village.

“So we have invited some villagers from Thurlestone and are having a bit of a twinning ceremony next Saturday.” Thurlestone’s K6 phone box, also bought by the parish council for £1, was opened as a party venue last year.

Since then it has been fitted out with shelves and is currently being used as a book swap, Mrs Carter said.