It had been so difficult for so long to find a phone box that was not broken or vandalised that, in an age of mobile handsets, most of us gave up trying.
This threatened to condemn thousands of kiosks to dereliction, until it transpired that some of the locals were doing a better job of caring for them than BT ever did.
The news that more of them are now being offered for “adoption” at £1 a time by communities will, we hope, see a further flourishing of information hubs, mini museums and defibrillator points across our county. This has already happened on a significant scale in the East Riding, where the phone boxes were traditionally in local hands.
The transfer of ownership is a good deal for BT. The electricity it will continue to provide to the boxes will work out cheaper than the cost of hoisting them away and making good the pavement. At the same time, some of the most recognisable symbols of our national identity will be usefully preserved.