It looks like red telephone boxes, once a popular site in England, may soon be making a welcome return to our towns and villages. British Telecom are now giving town councils the chance to adopt the red boxes to stop them disappearing from our streets altogether. Councils will have to pay £250 for a box without a working phone or £500 for one that contains a phone. They have until 1st October to make up their minds. Unfortunately the popularity of mobile phones (or cells as our American neighbours call them!) has meant the disappearance of many phone boxes from our high streets. In many areas they have now become obsolete. However there are some areas of the country where councils would like to keep the red boxes for cultural and heritage reasons. Kersall, a village in Nottinghamshire successfully battled against plans to remove their much loved red telephone box. The village prides itself on having the best kept box in the world. Residents put fresh flowers in it and even decorate it with lights at Christmas!
Red telephone boxes were a popular site in England when I was growing up, with their crown insignia and domed roof. Many foreign visitors saw them as a national icon and a symbol of our British heritage. Singer Tom Jones missed the “green, green grass of home” so much that he went as far as having a red telephone box shipped over to his American home. The box now takes pride of place in his back garden as a fond reminder of his British roots. The modern silver boxes that replaced them just didn’t have the same appeal.