The red phone box outside Hambledon Post Office and stores has been given a repaint by BT, with the Crown picked out in gold in this Queen’s Jubilee and London Olympic year.
The kiosk, which is of the iconic K6 design, was given listed status by English Heritage in October 2010. Recently the paint had peeled and faded and the parish council requested a repaint, which was carried out two weeks ago. The interior has also been repainted.
BT had proposed removing the kiosk three years ago because the number of calls made from it had declined with the widespread use of mobile phones, but this was resisted by the council and others. The parish council asked English Heritage if would consider listing it and an inspection was carried out.
The kiosk is of the classic design by Giles Gilbert Scott and was first introduced in 1935 on the occasion of King George V’s Silver Jubilee. English Heritage concluded that the Hambledon box, situated in a picturesque landscape next to a pond and post office, within a conservation area and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, “contributes to the exceptional rural setting in which it stands”. It was given Grade II listed status.
It now looks splendid with its fresh coat of paint. Although the box cannot now be removed, BT may remove the phone apparatus, subject to further consultation, sometime in the future. So please pop in and use it. It makes a pleasant change from a mobile phone. But remember: you will have to buy a phone card from the village Post Office as the kiosk no longer accepts coins.