The classic red, British phone box is an increasingly rare sight, in town or country.   In town, any public phones now tend to be in open booths – ‘self-cleaning’ when the wind blows.  I didn’t check whether this phone in Rievaulx is in working order.  It seems to still be connected.

In villages where the local box has been retired from service, some have been converted to miniature libraries, or book exchanges.  BT is currently backing the Community Heartbeat Trust‘s initiative to install defibrillators in village phone boxes.

Phone boxes may be rare now but they’re not redundant.  During the floods in Lancaster before Christmas, the town’s power supplies were cut off for two days and both broadband and mobile phone connections were out of action.  Students from Lancaster university queued at one remaining local phone box, for many their first experience of using this convenient relic from the (recent) past.


A post for Thursday Doors.