Saturday, 13 August 2022

Old phone kiosk could hold history of village

A REDUNDANT phone box in Lower Shiplake could be re-used as an information centre, library or to house a defibrillator.

The parish council has been asked by BT if it would like to adopt the old red kiosk, which is opposite the Corner Shop at the junction of Station Road and Northfield Avenue.

If it turns down the offer, the box will be removed.

The offer from BT is part of its plans to remove 73 public phones across South Oxfordshire as they are no longer used enough to justify the service.

Councils can take over responsibility for a box as long as they agree to maintain it.

The Shiplake box could become an information centre for walkers and tourists with a history of the village and links to novelist George Orwell, who lived in Station Road as a child, and poet laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson, who married the vicar’s daughter at the village church in June 1850.

Another suggestion is to use the kiosk as a library in the form of a “book and magazine swap”.

The parish council will discuss the issue at a meeting on Monday.

In June last year an old red phone box was installed in Binfield Heath.

The George VI model, dating from between 1936 and 1952, was unveiled in Shiplake Row by Lord Phillimore.

The parish council and village society, which spent £2,500 on the kiosk, planned to fit it with a defibrillator, books and plants.

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