Phone box opposite the Village Hall

To be removed - or ours for £1
To be removed – or ours for £1

BT are going to remove the phone from the phone box opposite the Village Hall. They will remove the phone box itself as well, but will offer to sell it to the community for alternative uses, if we want it, for £1.

The scheme is described at https://business.bt.com/solutions/small-business/communities/adopt-a-kiosk/

There is no realistic possibility of retaining it as a working phone box, so the choices are to buy it for £1 and find a use for it, or let it go. I’m sure that the parish council would be willing to spend the £1, so it would just be a question of finding a use for it. The internet throws up a few ideas of what other people have done: see “the world’s smallest library”, “the world’s smallest pub”, “the world’s smallest art gallery” etc.

"Consultation"
“Consultation”

Quite a popular choice is to house a defibrillator in the phone box. We already have a defibrillator on the wall of the Village Hall, but we are planning to put a second one in at Darwell Hole, so we could move the phone box there and use it for that (subject to planning permission, of course).

Whatever is done with it, if we keep it, then there will be some on-going cost, for painting, repairs, cleaning and generally keeping it looking smart. And the more zany ideas will only happen, I would suggest, if there is someone in the village who has always passionately wanted to run the worlds smallest library / pub / art gallery / petting zoo / university / communal shower or whatever, and is prepared to put in the time and energy to make it happen.

Banksy was here
Banksy was here

Or one could take the view that all this is a case of a solution looking for a problem; that the phone box is just another piece of roadside clutter; and that once its original function has become otiose it is better for it to just go.

All suggestions welcome.

One thing I learned when researching the demise of phone boxes, is that if you make a 999 call from your mobile phone, it will automatically use any network that is available, notwithstanding the fact that your SIM card is from one particular network. Consequently there are very few places where you can’t make an emergency call from your mobile.