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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."

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.

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Page updated : 10th February 2016