Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Plants adorn old call box

AN old phone box in Sonning Common has been turned into a floral display.

AN old phone box in Sonning Common has been turned into a floral display.

Volunteers from the Village Gardeners have moved it to the village centre and filled it with plants.

The kiosk was bought from BT for £1.65 by the parish council on behalf of the Village Gardeners and the company waived the £750 fee it would usually charge to remove cabling.

Peppard Building Supplies used a crane to lift the box from its previous home in Blackmore Lane and after it had been refurbished relocated it in Wood Lane.

A paving slab next to the door is engraved “6-6-13 The Village Gardeners” to commemorate the occasion.

Rob Smith refurbished the kiosk and installed a solar panel on the roof to power an interior light at night. Fred Nickson and Ben Borsberry provided the classic red paint.

Stan Rust, a member of the Village Gardeners, bought and put in the plants, including evergreen honeysuckle, fuchsia, cotoneaster dammeri, variegated grass and heucherella stoplight.

Mr Rust, 66, of Kennylands Road, said: “We wanted things hanging out. The plants have got different textures and provide a lovely fragrance for when people walk past.”

It took him 15 hours to paint the trellis at the back of the box.

Mr Rust said: “Before I finished people were stopping and commenting how lovely it looked and how much the Village Gardeners did for Sonning Common.”

Chrissie Phillips-Tilbury, a parish councillor who chairs the group, said: “It has far exceeded my expectations and people will be delighted with it, I’m sure.

“It’s supposed to be fun and it looks so elegant. I’m so thrilled with it.”

She said the box could help if Sonning Common entered Britain in Bloom next year.

“I hope that the judges will look at it and think ‘wow, that’s different’ but irrespective of Britain in Bloom, it’s something for the community to enjoy.”

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