Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 15°C

Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Felixstowe: Campaigner seeing red over iconic phone box axe

14:06 10 October 2012

Campaigner Mike Sharman with red telephone box he is trying to save in Felixstowe - he is furious that people putting together Spa Gardens revamp wants to demolish this icon of English Heritage and one of the few surving in the country.

Campaigner Mike Sharman with red telephone box he is trying to save in Felixstowe - he is furious that people putting together Spa Gardens revamp wants to demolish this icon of English Heritage and one of the few surving in the country.

Archant

FEW and far between these days, they are an iconic symbol of England, a link with the country’s tradition and past.

The red phone box

■ Sir Giles Gilbert Scott designed the red telephone box – his design, chosen by the Fine Arts Commission from a range of ideas, first appeared in 1926.

■ Although Scott wanted them silver, red was selected as the colour for the public phone kiosks, made from cast iron, as it would make them easy to spot.

■ They were used not only on the streets of the UK, but also in Malta, Bermuda and Gibraltar.

■ By the 1980s there were 70,000 of them around the country, but today there are just 11,000 still in use.

■ Some have been sold off to private owners, and others taken over by communities and preserved or even used as library or book exchanges or art galleries.

Red telephone boxes have virtually vanished from our landscape – killed off by the cult of the mobile phone, and sometimes by vandals, too, and more likely to be spotted in museums and gardens than in high streets.

Now Felixstowe’s last town centre box is set to bite the dust – unless campaigners can find a way to keep it.

The red glass-panelled box which stands at the top of Bent Hill is to be ripped out and consigned to the dump to make way for a grand entrance to the little-used Pram Walk and the new £2 million makeover of the seafront gardens.

Town and district councillor Michael Sharman is furious – and believes the phone box, part of the town’s heritage, should stay and be incorporated into the new gardens entrance.

“I am absolutely astounded that Heritage Lottery Fund money should be used to remove this box – it’s a total paradox using heritage money to remove an icon that’s part of our heritage rather than retaining it as something we should be proud of,” he said.

“It’s a pleasant recollection of our past for older people and a reminder of our past for young people and we should be trying hard to preserve it as an attraction.

“We are told people don’t know how to find the Pram Walk, the entrance they want to create to the gardens, but it would be easier to say it’s by the red phone box and make the box a feature.”

He suggested it could be bought, disconnected and its maintenance minimal.

Town councillors were told the Seafront Gardens Project Board had voted to remove the phone box, which has not been used in the past year.

Board member Andy Smith said the aim was to renovate the untidy top of the Pram Walk to create a new entrance into the gardens.

The resort has two other red phone boxes – one in the Adastral Close development and the other at Felixstowe Ferry.

3 comments

  • I like seeing these red boxes about our countryside and towns. Why not just move it in to the new gardens, give it a lick of paint, incorporate it in to one of the floral displays, seal it up to stop it being used as a toilet and then everyone is happy.

    Report this comment

    Homeofstowe

    Thursday, October 11, 2012

  • I agree with Mike - the phone box should be used as a marker, not tossed in the trash. So many poor decisions have been made in Felixstowe in the name of 'modernisation' and every one has caused more problems than it has solved. (Witness the 'grand pedestrianisation scheme') The phone box is unused because everyone now has mobiles, not because it is an eyesore. Let's be like some other places and be imaginative - Other places have turned their red phone boxes into libraries and all sorts - For once, get with the programme, Felixstowe, and make it a feature, not a disadvantage.

    Report this comment

    happypam

    Thursday, October 11, 2012

  • I'm told by an acquaintance that SCDC do not own the first section of the pram walk footpath. Apparently they tried to claim adverse possession with Land registry last year and were turned down!

    Report this comment

    IvorNidea

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Nitro Circus Live at Foxhall Stadium.

Fans have been left upset and out of pocket after they claim they were turned away from a stunt show because of bad weather - only to find the event went ahead slightly later than scheduled.

Chemical incident in Glamorgan Road, Ipswich

Fire, police, and ambulance services were sent to a chemical incident in the Stoke Park area of town.

The Pigs Gone Wild trail covers key Ipswich landmarks

There were shrieks of delightthis morning as children scrambled over concrete plinths holding some exciting new additions to Ipswich town centre.

Dougie and Sheila Gedny with their daughter Linda Main at the completion of Upper Abbey Farmhouse at Leiston.

A Suffolk woman has returned to the house where she was born more than 70 years ago to see it fully restored following a fire.

Will Young at Newmarket Nights - photos by Simon Traylen

Evergreen pop star Will Young showed he remains a hit with fans as crowds flocked to see him perform at Newmarket racecourse.

600 primary school children are attending a science fair at Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard. Pictured with flame is Head of Chemistry Andy Cameron.

This week our headlines were dominated by the EU referendum, with campaigners from the Remain camp hitting the streets of Bury St Edmunds before the vote on Thursday.

Race for Life in Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds has been cancelled due to heavy rain overnight.

Today’s Race for Life event in Bury St Edmunds has been cancelled due to heavy raining and flooding at Nowton Park.

Shadow foreign sec Hilary Benn with Emma Reynolds and MEP Richard Hewitt on the Labour In Battle Bus meeting the public in Ipswich town centre.

Half of Labour’s shadow cabinet are reported to have resigned today in the fallout after the referendum result.

Action from the Felixstowe & Walton United v Bury Town in the Suffolk Premier Cup. Photo: Steve Waller

A football club’s dream of a new clubhouse and changing rooms fit for the 21st Century has moved a step closer with the award of a £50,000 grant.

Lionel Richie on stage in Colchester

“What the hell is this? You call this a summer evening? Welcome to Cold-chester!”

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24