Britain's iconic red telephone boxes have become obsolete in the age of mobile phones, but villages across the country are stepping in to save them with creative flair. The red phone boxes were designed by Giles Gilbert Scott in 1936 for the 25th anniversary of the reign of King George V. Painted in "Post Office red" to match the post boxes, they were once a defining image of England and the backdrop to millions of tourist photographs.
Eight years ago there were about 17,000 red boxes across Britain, but today, almost everybody has a mobile phone, 58% are no longer profitable and 10% are only used once a month. "On average, maintaining them costs £800 a year per kiosk and overall the cost to Britain is £44 million annually" said John Lumb, General Manager for BT Payphones.
BT wrote to local authorities to inform them the boxes were going to be dismantled two years ago. Local councillor Tricia Hallam, who came up with the idea for the phone box's makeover, said, "We couldn't let it go because it's a landmark, it's part of our heritage.”She further added, "We need to keep it here, it's an iconic thing, a British icon." To generate revenue from the red kiosk, they’ve been converted into kitsch showers or mini-bars, available online for between £1,300 and £3,500.
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