Villagers ring the changes at telephone box

Newmarket Journal - September 2011''WOOD DITTON PARISH COUNCIL ARE TURNING A OLD PHONE BOX IN SAXON STREET IN TO A BOOK EXCHANGE PICTURED JUNE SURRAGE PC, JOHN THEOBALD PC, TERRY WEBB WHO WILL BE LOOKING AFTER THE BOX AND PETER POWNEY-JONES CHAIRMAN PARISH COUNCIL.

Newmarket Journal - September 2011''WOOD DITTON PARISH COUNCIL ARE TURNING A OLD PHONE BOX IN SAXON STREET IN TO A BOOK EXCHANGE PICTURED JUNE SURRAGE PC, JOHN THEOBALD PC, TERRY WEBB WHO WILL BE LOOKING AFTER THE BOX AND PETER POWNEY-JONES CHAIRMAN PARISH COUNCIL.

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A DISUSED red telephone box in Saxon Street will be spruced up and turned into a new book exchange for villagers.

The idea to turn a defunct telephone box in School Road into a book-swapping facility is being developed by members of Wood Ditton Parish Council.

John Theobold, Wood Ditton Parish Council clerk, said the council planned to re-paint the phone box and install new shelves.

“We were anxious to keep the red telephone box because it is part of the local scene,” he said.

“We plan to install shelves to allow local people to leave unwanted books and magazines. People can take and read the books as they wish and then put them back.

“We are hoping to get it off the ground soon and we hope people will be interested.”

School Road resident Terry Webb, 58, has volunteered to help maintain the new facility.

She said: “I live very close to the phone box and I thought why not help out?”

“It’s an opportunity for people to pass on things they don’t want and get things they do want instead of things being wasted. If it becomes a sort of swap shop it could be quite interesting.”

The council was inspired by BT’s Adopt-a-Kiosk scheme, which removes the phone from unsed kiosks and allows communities to take ownership.

Kiosks have been adopted all over the UK and used for a variety of projects.

A telephone box in Ovington in Tyne Valley, has had defibrillators installed by the Community Heartbeat Trust and others have been transformed into grocery shops, wildlife information centres and art galleries.

A meeting was due to take place today to finalise plans for the new facility.

Anyone interested in adopting a kiosk should email payphones@bt.com.