Britain's iconic red phone boxes have become obsolete in the age of the mobile -- but villages across the country are stepping in to save them, with creative flair.
Whether as a place to exhibit art, poetry, or even as a tiny library, hundreds of kiosks have been given a new lease of life by local communities determined to preserve a quintessential part of British life.
In Waterperry, a small village near Oxford, the 120 residents have filled the phone box next to the old manor house with a pot of hyacinths, piles of gardening and cooking magazines, and plastered poems on the walls.
They took control of the kiosk when telecoms operator BT said it was going to pull it down, an announcement that sparked such uproar that one local woman threatened to chain herself to the box to save it.
"I'd have done it," insisted Kendall Turner. "It would have been heartbreaking for the village."
Local councillor Tricia Hallam, who came up with the idea for the phone box's makeover, said "quite a few people" would have joined her, adding: "We couldn't let it go because it's a landmark, it's part of our heritage.
"We need to keep it here, it's an iconic thing, a British icon."
Only three feet by three feet wide, and standing eight foot three inches tall, the kiosks were designed by Giles Gilbert Scott in 1936 for the 25th anniversary of the reign of King George V.
Painted in "Post Office red" to match the post boxes, they were once a defining image of England and the backdrop to millions of tourist photographs.
Eight years ago there were about 17,000 across Britain, but today, in a country where almost everybody has a mobile phone, 58 percent are no longer profitable and ten percent are only used once a month.
2010-04-28 16:21 编辑：kuaileyingyu
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