Red phone boxes in Wiltshire and Devon to be twinned

Marden Exchange, Wiltshire
Image caption BT are unaware of any other phone boxes being twinned

A small Wiltshire village is to hold a ceremony to twin its former phone box with a phone box in South Devon.

The traditional kiosk in Marden, which was bought from BT for £1, is to be twinned with a kiosk in Thurlestone.

Organiser Lalu Carter, said the Wiltshire kiosk was being linked with a redundant K6 phone box in her parent's village in Devon as a "bit of fun".

A BT spokesman said despite more than 2,000 kiosks being adopted he was "not aware of any that have been twinned".

'Resident mannequin'

Fitted with shelves, the redundant Marden kiosk is used by the village as a "swap shop" for everything from books to vegetables.

When not being used by locals and other nearby villages as an exchange, the kiosk and resident mannequin are decorated on a holiday theme.

Image caption The South Devon phone box was opened as a party venue last year.

"We have dressed our phone box up as a giant Easter bunny and at Christmas we dressed up our resident mannequin Gladys as an angel," said Ms Carter.

"My parents got quite inspired by this - they had a redundant phone box in their village and they started doing the same thing."

Thurlestone's K6 phone box, also bought by the parish council for £1, was officially opened as a party venue last year.

Since then, according to Ms Carter, it has been fitted out with shelves and is currently being used as a book swap.

"They are the Thurlestone Exchange and we are the Marden Exchange and so we decided to twin them," said Ms carter.

"It's just a bit of fun really but our motto is 'bonus est loqui' - it's good to talk - and it's good to get people talking."

A contingent from South Devon is expected to travel to Wiltshire for a twinning ceremony and plaque unveiling on 18 May.

According to BT, there are still 10,000 traditional phones boxes across the UK and 2,000 have been "adopted" by their local community.

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