With the phone now gone, residents persuaded Lyndhurst Parish Council to buy the box from BT for £1 in its UK-wide ‘adopt a kiosk’ scheme. Helped by the New Forest National Park Authority, they installed information and history panels, details for walkers, plus a swap shop of books, dvds and produce for locals. It also has a notice board advertising everything from film nights to church services.
Emery Down resident Peter Power is one of the driving forces behind the project. He said: ‘Thanks entirely to the hard work by village residents, and magnificent support from the New Forest National Park Authority, we now have a wonderfully restored kiosk - albeit minus a telephone - but now a centre to exchange books, DVDs, unwanted items, local produce and much more. There is even a dog bowl donated by the village pub (New Forest Inn), plus a map to where humans can have a drink! In particular, there is a large map of the Lyndhurst Parish Walk, which passes the kiosk, plus a large display of local history, all on permanent display. All donations go to the village church, which is close to the kiosk.’
Cutting the ribbon around the phone box, National Park Authority Chief Executive Alison Barnes said: ‘The red telephone box is not just a British icon but a landscape icon. It is something we all identify with but is becoming more and more rare, so it is fantastic to keep something like this in the National Park landscape.
‘There has been huge energy and creativity behind this project – including rubbing down paint for hours on end – and you have certainly made the best of the space within it. It has been wonderful to be involved in this project.’
Phone Box Fact:
■The famous Gilbert Scott designed K6 or Jubilee kiosk was launched in 1936 to celebrate King George V’s silver jubilee
■By the 1960s almost 70,000 kiosks could be found across the countryside, playing a significant part in our national heritage
■With the advent of mobile phones, people have been using kiosks less and less
■Where communities don't need their payphone service anymore but want to protect the kiosk for heritage reasons, local communities can apply to BT to take ownership of the kiosk, minus the payphone itself, ensuring it will remain in situ for generations to come
(Left to right): National Park Interpretation Officer Jim Mitchell; Emery Down residents Dr Ed Newman, Peter Powell and Adam Collins; and National Park Chief Executive Alison Barnes at the opening of the Silver Street telephone box.
Notes to Editor:
Protect - Enjoy - Prosper
The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:
■Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect
■Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy
We also have a duty to:
Foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper
The New Forest National Park was created in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.
Hilary Makin, Communications Manager, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646608 Mob: 07850143528
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The New Forest National Park lies mainly in south-west Hampshire; it is famous for its stunning landscapes,wildlife,coastline & picturesque villages. It is the eighth national park in England and the first in the south-east to be created for nearly 50yrs.