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Saturday, 30 April 2011

Ringing the changes with iconic red telephone box

It must be the only telephone box in the country to have had a red carpet ceremony and to be celebrated with its own website.

Residents from Emery Down near Lyndhurst turned out in force today (Thursday 28 April) to mark the opening of their phone box which has been transformed into a mini information and community centre.

(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.
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.’

Find out more about the phone box at Silver Street, Emery Down, at www.emerydownphonebox.co.uk

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2 comments:

  1. Very many thanks for helping to promote this great village initiative. Full details can be found at www.emerydownphonebox.co.uk . We have received many visitors since the box was officially opened on 28 April and many have many donations to our honesty box. There are dozens of books and CDs to choose from, plus leaflets all about the Lyndhurst Walk and New Forest, thanks to the New Forest National Park Authority who have been fantastic in their support (Lyndhurst Parish Council actually own the box). In addition, there is a display about the village of Emery Down and lots of local produce / items to take home. Anyone reading this please come and visit! Peter Power p.g.power@btinternet.com

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  2. Many thanks for the additional information Peter. Best regards, Steve

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