Cambridgeshire

Santa steams into village in Prickwillow phone box makeover

Santa Image copyright CARY OUTIS
Image caption Villagers in Prickwillow have "blinged up" the phone box every year since 2010

A disused red phone box has been transformed as part of an annual bid to bring some festive cheer to a village.

The defunct kiosk in Prickwillow, near Ely, Cambridgeshire, has become a steam train, with a massive Santa head and fur hat for the cab.

In recent years, the box on Main Street has been decorated as a bauble, a present, a chimney pot and a giant sweet by local artists.

Designer Cary Outis said it would "put a little whimsy on the high street".

Members of the Ouse Life Drawing Group have "blinged up" the box since it was bought for the village in 2010.

Mr Outis said it took a few days - and some upcycling - to put the festive locomotive together

"A couple of people said it would be a pity to throw away last year's effort, so I had to come up with a second use for Santa," he said.

"The challenge always is how to use the [phone] box itself - it's a little forbidding in itself, but limitation forces creativity."

Image copyright Cary Outis
Image caption Last year the phone box became Father Christmas 2018
Image caption In previous years, the phone box has been a present, sweet and bauble

The Santa train was built with "cheap plywood and batten, acrylic paint and some ridiculously cheap shiny red fabric and fluff", he added.

"Putting a little whimsy on a high street is a mildly subversive act - I just hope nobody crashes their car rubbernecking!"

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