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Articles of interest concerning Telephone Kiosks and out Telephone Kiosk endearingly referred to as 'El Tel'.

2011

Reproduced below is the article as featured in the 'Daily Telegraph' on 30th July 2011 which concentrates on the garden in which Felix Dennis boasts to owning a telephone kiosk all of his own. Also available as .pdf files here and here.

Oage 1 of Telegraph Article

Page 2 of Telegraph Article

Celebrity Gardeners: Felix Dennis' garden

The publisher Felix Dennis' chocolate-box garden borders a self-planted 1,900-acre wood, open to the public, in the heart of Shakespeare country

When Felix Dennis (poet, self-made publishing mogul and philanthropist), 64, decided to buy a country cottage 26 years ago, he drew a 100-mile circle around Charing Cross, finally settling on a hamlet near Stratford upon Avon. The Old Manor, a 17th-century thatched cottage with traditional hanging baskets and serried begonias 'that only my neighbours get to see’, could grace any chocolate box. More bedding plants are neatly arrayed close to the house in parks-and-gardens style. Although hackneyed, the jaunty pink and red pelargoniums popping up through silver cinerarias flatter the traditional cottage and hark back to Dennis’s 1950s suburban childhood in Thames Ditton, Surrey.

For 20 years or more Dennis has opened his garden for the National Gardens Scheme. Thousands of visitors come back year after year. The immaculate lawn, zoned and striped, is widely admired.

'We’ve tried big mowers, but we’ve gone back to smaller cylinder ones that deliver fine lines,’ Dennis says. And the small box-lined herb garden at the front of the house gives him particular pleasure.

'I helped to make it and planted some of the herbs.’ This is a favourite place to enjoy a glass of fine white wine amid the aromatic pungency of lavender, feverfew and fennel.

When Dennis first moved to the Old Manor there was a tennis court 'which must have cost a small ransom’. He ripped it out years ago after getting 'bored with all that stuff’ and replaced it with a sunken stream garden. High yew hedges, with a castellated top, surround this damp area containing bulrushes, loosestrife (Lysimachia punctata) and bog primulas. The bulrush motif, crafted into the wide metal gates at the entrance to the garden, is repeated on the simple bridge over the small stream. Two veteran apple trees survive from the old garden, overlooking a newly planted orchard containing local heritage varieties. And from the garden, mown grass paths and a ha-ha connect with the fields beyond.

'I love whimsy in gardens and I always wanted a maze,’ he says.

So his first major project was to design a yew maze, using the letters 'O’ and 'Z’, the name of the underground magazine that he co-edited (and which became the focus of a famous obscenity trial in 1971), as his motif. 'I found it amusing to put those two letters together, but I never think about the trial now,’ he says.

Over the years more land has been acquired and today the estate covers 6,000 acres. In 1995 Dennis planted up the five-acre Ralph’s Wood (named after a local conservationist) with native broad-leaf trees – oak, ash, birch, hazel and willow – little realising where it would lead. Now he employs a head forester and a nursery manager to grow saplings from locally collected seed for his Heart of England Forest charitable project.

'We plant 300 acres every year. What we plant depends on the soil and location, but it is mostly heavy clay. My forest stretches from the relics of Shakespeare’s Forest of Arden in the north down to the Vale of Evesham in the south, and now measures 1,900 acres, roughly five Hyde Parks.’ The project was driven by his wish to reinstate a large forest to an area once covered in mighty elms.

His £500 million fortune will fund its upkeep, and eventually the forest will be used for camping, traditional woodland crafts and equestrian events. There are already 11 miles of permissive footpaths. Not surprisingly, Dennis’s favourite plant is a tree – the rowan or mountain ash.

'According to myth it’s the only tree left that still understands human speech. I speak to my trees, but they don’t speak back,’ he adds. 'I write poems about them instead.’

The header on this page consists of the stamp design of the telephone kiosk as copyrighted to the Post Office and one of the winter 2010 views of our own 'El Tel' covered in snow.

Page Breaker

The Hucknall and Dispatch Christmas story from their web-site:

Village rings in festive season with help of phonebox

Published on Saturday 17 December 2011 07:00

Mayor of GedlingA SPECTACULAR 27-foot high tree — and a traditional red telephone-box — were unveiled as eye catching features of Linby’s Christmas decorations as it switched on the festive season this week.

The village, which was crowned one of Nottinghamshire’s best kept earlier this year, started its traditional countdown to Christmas on Monday with its annual tree-lighting ceremony.

But much of the intrigue centred on the telephone box, which was bought from BT for just £1 to save it from the scrapheap.

In direct competition with the tree, it is packed with lights and baubles in a stunt dubbed by Coun Bob Brothwell, chairman of Linby Parish Council, as “a bit of fun”.

LET THERE BE LIGHT - the Mayor of Gedling Patricia Andrews, who flicked the switchCouncillor Brothwell

Coun Brothwell lavished rich praise on the rain-soaked audience of more than 400 that turned out for the eighth renewal of the switch-on.

Crowds braved downpours and high winds to sing along to carols, performed by the Hucknall and Linby Mining Community Brass Band, and also munched on home-made mince pies and mulled wine, provided by villagers.

The switch-on of the tree lights was performed by the Mayor of Gedling, Coun Patricia Andrews (Con).

The tree was decorated by prayers penned by children from Leen Mills Primary School in Hucknall and Linby-cum-Papplewick Church Of England Primary School.

Coun Brothwell added: “A big thank you must go to everyone who puts so much time and effort into making this such a successful event. Without their hard work, it wouldn’t be possible.”

 

The header on this page consists of the stamp design of the telephone kiosk as copyrighted to the Post Office and one of the winter 2010 views of our own 'El Tel' covered in snow.

Page Breaker

2010

The Daily Telegraph has long championed the Red Telephone Kiosk - here is one of the stories featured on their web-site which echoes the kiosk-friendly ethos of Linby.

Village clubs together to reconnect red phone box which charges 1p per minute

A village has clubbed together to reconnect a traditional red telephone box which now charges just 1p per minute for calls. - Laura Roberts Village Kiosk30th July 2010

The abandoned K6 phone box in Northlew, Devon was disconnected by BT last year but has been recommissioned after locals agreed to fund £15 per month for its reconnection.

It is now the cheapest call box in Britain. Calls cost a minimum of 20p allowing the user to talk to someone anywhere in the world, including to mobile phones, for up to 20 minutes.

The charge is so low because the village has reconnected using a BT business rate landline and is not seeking to make a profit on calls.

Northlew villagers have banded together to secure better services in the past.

Until last year they were among 1.8 million UK residents who could not get broadband because they were too far from the exchange. The residents were finally connected on Christmas Eve 2009 after one inhabitant set up his own company, Northlew Community Broadband (NCB), to become a service provider for the whole village.

Northlew village has reconnected its red phone box which charges 1p per minute. Photo: ROSS PARRY

Christopher Marson, 31, director of NCB, said: "We are actually the first community in the UK to do this and also we are the cheapest call box in the UK, offering calls, anywhere in the world, for one pence a minute.

"In any isolated community in rural Britain you lose services. This is about returning them. The calls are cheaper than in some people's homes."

Jane Colbourne, chairwoman of Northlew Parish Council, said: "It's great for morale in the village. We were so disappointed when BT disconnected the line, especially in an area where we have really bad mobile phone coverage."

Last year Northlew - which is seven miles from Okehampton and has a population of around 630 people - lost its Post Office and shop as well as the telephone box.

Mr Marson, an IT consultant, said other rural villages around the country were keen to get help with getting broadband and keeping the red boxes.

He said: "We have shown that just because you live in a rural community, doesn't mean you have to accept a lower standard of living."

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