Tyne & Wear

Telephone box becomes pride of Northumberland village

Parish Councillor Andrew Mate in the telephone box
Image caption Parish councillor Andrew Mate said it was a beautiful phone box in a beautiful place

A traditional red telephone box has been saved from extinction thanks to the parish council in Ovington.

The phone box was decomissioned by British Telecom as methods of communication move away from the corded phone and coin system to mobile phones.

The old-fashioned red box was bought for £1 and will now be a feature in the centre of the village.

Residents are now being asked to come up with quirky ideas for what the telephone box could be used for.

Parish councillor Andrew Mate, said: "It's a beautiful place, with a beautiful red phone box and because it's a beautiful red phone box, when BT started decommissioning these phone boxes all over the country and asked the parish council what we wanted to do with it, we had no hesitation in offering to buy it.

"It's an iconic landmark in the village."

A killer idea

BT is decommissioning 2,000 red phone boxes nationally as old methods of communication die out.

The telephone has now been disconnected and the council is open to unusual ideas on what it could be used for.

Mr Mate, said: "There have been a few suggestions - some of them a little controversial like the world's smallest lap dancing bar, but more sensible ones include a book exchange, or an information centre.

"Another idea has been that we could use it as a distribution point for people growing local vegetables and eggs and things like that, with an honesty box.

"I believe that is working quite well in one or two other Tyneside villages.

"But we are still waiting for the killer idea, the brilliant idea that says 'yes, that's it'."

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