Second calling for iconic red phone box

The East Yorkshire village of Atwick has its iconic phone box back after a campaign by villagers  Pictured (left )residents, along with David Pincott,from BT and Graham Stuart, MP, for Beverley and Holderness
The East Yorkshire village of Atwick has its iconic phone box back after a campaign by villagers Pictured (left )residents, along with David Pincott,from BT and Graham Stuart, MP, for Beverley and Holderness
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It is as much a part of the village scene as the nearby pub, the green it stands on or the ancient stone cross across the road.

More importantly in an area where mobile signals are patchy at best, the red telephone box in the East Yorkshire village of Atwick, near Hornsea, is also potentially a lifesaver.

Pretty as a picture: Atwick has its phone box back

Pretty as a picture: Atwick has its phone box back

But when a car smashed into the K6 phone box in May, it looked like it may be lost forever.

However after hundreds of residents took the time to fill in a village survey to say they wanted its return and local MP Graham Stuart intervened, BT relented.

Today saw the grand reopening of the grade two listed phone box, restored to its rightful position on the village green.

Mike Crowther, Chairman of Atwick Parish Council said: “On Saturday May 13 a driver came down the hill from Hornsea, ploughed through the stone planter, through the telephone box and finally came to a rest having done quite a lot of damage to the car and to the village.”

The grand reopening of the red phone box at Atwick , near Hornsea

The grand reopening of the red phone box at Atwick , near Hornsea

After BT set up a consultation, villagers decided to do their own survey.

“We felt we shouldn’t just give up without an attempt to get them to change their mind,” said Mike.

“We got 206 signatures on a petition in a village which only has about 250 registered voters - a very good response.

“The phone box is an important part of the village both visually and, equally significantly, it’s a vital resource. This isn’t a good mobile signal area. It’s patchy and it does come and go.

“In my walk-round I even discovered a couple who didn’t have a landline and used it and were devastated it was gone.”

Despite this the feedback from BT via East Riding Council was negative, so the parish council asked Mr Stuart to step in.

At first BT said it wasn’t their policy to replace the K6s. But they were finally persuaded, installing an unused identical model.

Mr Crowther said: “We are really pleased to see it back and would like to thank BT for responding to the community.”

Mr Stuart said he was delighted to play a part in getting the telecoms giant to restore “the handsome red BT phone box on the green.”

Mark Johnson, BT payphones commercial manager, said: “It was inspiring to see the passion shown by local people to keep their red phone box in the heart of the community and we were pleased to help out by installing a fully restored replacement.

“We hope the new box will further enhance the beauty of the village.”

The decline in payphone usage has seen thousands of the iconic red telephone boxes disappear.

From their 1980s heyday when there were 73,000, there are now just 7,000.

Those that have been decommissioned have been put to some practical and downright quirky uses, including selling souvenirs in Brighton, a salad stall in London and a coffee shop in Birmingham.

There are around 2,400 grade two listed phone boxes in the country. Red phone boxes can also be seen on the streets of Malta, Bermuda and Gibraltar.