Those were the days …

… standing in the queue waiting for the telephone to become free, and then, when your turn did come around, putting in 2p and shouting “phone me back” as soon as it is answered.

I have two pet hates in photographs. One is sloping horizons, and two is getting my shadow in. I failed on the shadow today, but in mitigation the lighting was so suddenly brilliant that I really didn’t have time to think.

The surprising thing is that this telephone box in Bransdale still works although it doesn’t accept cash anymore. It is one of about 7,000 such telephone boxes still operating in the country1Guardian staff reporter (2021). Yours for £1: what would you do with a traditional red phone box? [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/shortcuts/2021/mar/15/yours-for-one-pound-what-would-you-do-with-a-traditional-red-phone-box [Accessed 3 Feb. 2022].. BT have slowly been “decommissioning” boxes but, last year, the communications watchdog, Ofcom, said it would ban the scrapping in areas where they were still needed2Kollewe, J. (2021). Thousands of UK phone boxes to be protected from closure. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/nov/09/uk-phone-boxes-bt-poor-mobile-coverage [Accessed 3 Feb. 2022]..

Telephone boxes will be protected if one of four criteria apply:

      • its location is not covered by all four main mobile networks;
      • it’s located at an accident or suicide hotspot;
      • more than 52 calls have been made from it over the past 12 months;
      • or in exceptional circumstances where there is a need for a public call box.

Bransdale clearly falls into the first category, the dale is a cellular black hole.

In other communities, telephone boxes have been reused as libraries, defibrillator units, mini-garden centres, and so on. Last summer, on Orkney, I remember seeing one used as a P.P.E. store.

I think this box is a type K6, introduced in 1935 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of George V3Wikipedia Contributors (2022). Red telephone box. [online] Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_telephone_box#K6 [Accessed 3 Feb. 2022]..

In 2012, BT was selling off K6 telephone boxes, fully refurbished and resprayed, for £1,950 plus VAT and delivery4Insley, J. (2012). BT sells off phone boxes as demand declines. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2012/apr/26/bt-sells-phone-boxes-demand-declines [Accessed 3 Feb. 2022].. I see they are now fetching up to £7,500 on eBay, obviously depending on condition. Wouldn’t have been such a bad investment.

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