Hydestile Crossroads residents have held a party in a phone box to celebrate the renovation of the traditional red kiosk and its new role as a location for a defibrillator.
Almost two dozen Crossroaders, past and present, raised a glass of champagne to toast the completed restoration before moving on to a garden party.
The kiosk, a familiar landmark on the approach to Hambledon, looked resplendent with new paint and a new sign around the top of the glass sides stating “Defibrillator”.
The transformation of the former payphone is the work of neighbouring Busbridge Parish Council. The crossroads forms a part of the boundary between it and Hambledon Parish Council. Many rural payphones see little use and Busbridge PC decided it was no longer prepared to pay a maintenance fee to BT for it to remain operational.
Instead it negotiated for BT to remove the phone apparatus and to hand over ownership to the council. It then had the kiosk professionally restored, inside and out (see earlier news story on this website), and for the defibrillator to be installed. The box will continue to illuminate at night.
The initiative was led by Busbridge councillors Alison Martin and John Graves. John, who lives at the crossroads, and his wife Elaine hosted a garden dinner party following the kiosk celebration.
The gathering brought together almost all of the current crossroads residents and the welcome return of a few who have moved away. Continue reading