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Saturday, 23 April 2011

HSBC dislodge Red Phone Box

Many may be nostalgic about the ‘old fashioned Red Telephone Box’ at the foot of the village green beside The Old Smithy.  Well, if you are one of them, it is possible that the village is at risk of losing it. 

To explain, whilst efforts continue to resolve our village banking issues following the withdrawal of HSBC. Our local MP Desmond Swayne, along with enthusiastic village campaigners are continuing to hold meeting in an attempt to keep a bank in our village, we wish them well, but honest expectation have to be low.

It is looking promising for the retention of an ATM Cash Machine in the village, with the news that the Coop are to have a free service in-store during their lengthy opening hours. The law of ‘unexpected consequences’ has also raised its head, as there is also another new proposal with NFDC Planning Department having received an application from BT Payphones to install a combined ‘Telephone kiosk with ATM’. The new unit is similar in size & shape to the existing Red Phone Box, but in a nice bright silver colour to blend in with our conservation area!  You will never guess the bank brand also emblazed on the pictures with the planning application?  Oh yes, our old friends HSBC.

artists impression
click image to enlarge
This installation will of course make our ‘old Red Phone Box’ obsolete. We have a choice, we can just lose it, or we can work together to keep for the village. Some unofficial discussions have identified that the village could buy it, and it is likely that the Parish Council would support a relocation to a suitable new position. The main issue will be who will be responsible for funding & physically maintaining the phone box, it is doubtful that the Parish Council will take this on.

So, if you would like to retain the Red Phone Box we need ideas on:
Who will take responsibility for maintenance? Perhaps, Milord on Sea Historical Society may be interested?

Who will fund the maintenance? Perhaps we could have a village appeal to cover costs for next five years?

Where could it be relocated? First idea, is in the raised flowerbed outside of HSBC & at top of Park Road? (See picture with the story)

What could it contain, as it would no longer be a phone?

If you have any ideas or thoughts, please feel free to share them by posting a comment below >>>

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