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Kiosk graveyard

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2016 - Where phone boxes go to die:

Pictures show the telephone box graveyards where enthusiasts refurbish the British icons to be sold to fans at home and abroad 

- Amazing photos show two of UK's 'graveyards' where the iconic British symbols are sent to get a new lease of life
- After the boxes are no longer of use and decommissioned they're sent to specialist sites to be lovingly rejuvenated
- They sell for between £2,000 and £10,000 once fully restored and the price shoots up even higher for older designs
- Staff can devote up to 100 hours of care to each booth - stripping them, repainting them and putting in new glass

By Alexander Robertson For Mailonline | 14:37, 4 April 2016 | Updated: 17:26, 4 April 2016

These amazing photographs show two of the UK's 'telephone box graveyards' where the iconic British symbols are sent to get a new lease of life. The rows and rows of rusted red telephone boxes which no longer ring may create a strikingly sad image but luckily these decommissioned symbols of Britain, as iconic as fish and chips or the Queen, have not been sent to die or decompose. Instead they are taken to 'telephone box graveyards' where they are lovingly rejuvenated - and as these stunning images show, the vision of row upon row of boxes waiting patiently can be quite remarkable.

Mike Shores, 80, of Carlton Miniott, Yorks, spent the best part of his career creating a place in the grounds of his home for the kiosks to await their afterlife abroad with a loving collector or as a bold statement in a British garden. Until he retired just two years ago staff at his village garage would devote 100 hours of tender loving care to each booth - stripping them, repainting them in the red once stipulated by the General Post Office and putting in new glass to restore them to their former glory. Mike said: 'People don't realise how long it takes to restore them properly. Some people just repaint them but we would do everything. It was a labour of love 'They are real collectors' items. We never advertised, it was all just done by word of mouth, but we'd have people coming to buy them all the way from America. 'They were fanatics and some people might call them nuts. But some people just like old things and I like old things.

Decommissioned Telephone kiosks

The rows and rows of rusted red telephone boxes create a strikingly sad image but luckily these decommissioned symbols of Britain have not been sent to die or decompose - image courtesy of the Daily Mail and © of Nicholas Ritter/Mercury Press

Rows of decommissioned Telephone kiosks

The largest active 'telephone box graveyard' is owned by Unicorn Restorations, near Merstham, Surrey, where around 70 kiosks are currently laid to rest - image courtesy of the Daily Mail and © of Nicholas Ritter/Mercury Press

'They are gradually disappearing and the new ones don't have the same character. It is such a shame because they are pieces of history.' Amateur snapper and retail worker Guy Hatton, from Rochester, Kent, went to Carlton Miniott, North Yorkshire to pay his respects to these pillars of British Telecom's history and immortalise them in his own way with a series of magnificently melancholy shots.

The 55-year-old said: 'I saw them first driving past with my partner but didn't have my camera so I went back, which is something I never do. It is very rare I see something and think I must go back. 'I loved the effect of the way they are all laid out. I'm all about shapes and patterns, that's what interests me the most. 'It's interesting to see things that are so iconic at the end of their life. It is quite sad and there is almost a sense of bereavement like something has died or been put out to pasture. 'But it is so reassuring to know they are going onto their second life.'

These booths have featured in art installations over the world and have been used as green houses, mobile phone charging ports, house defibrillators, mini libraries and even a coffee shop in Brighton. 

They sell for between £2,000 and £10,000 once fully restored and the price can shoot up for older designs such as 1920s model K2. The K2 was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott as part of a competition in 1924 and much of his inspiration was drawn from Sir John Soane's mausoleums in St Pancras' Old Churchyard, London. The largest active 'telephone box graveyard' is owned by Unicorn Restorations, near Merstham, Surrey, where around 70 kiosks are currently laid to rest.

Professional snapper Nicolas Ritter, 30, who now lives in Berlin, visited the yard back when he was just starting out as a photographer's assistant in 2012. He said: 'Being at the telephone graveyard was a great experience for me. It felt like a journey back into the history of the country as the phone boxes are such a unique symbol of British culture.

'Viewing this museal location now after the beginning of a new age of communication the phone graveyard bears a mystic vibe of a past era.'

Source and more pictures : Daily Mail

2016 - Welcome to the office – it's a bit of a squeeze:

New York firm to transform iconic red phone boxes into mini work stations

By Vicki Owen for the Mail On Sunday|Published: 21:56, 30 April 2016 | Updated: 21:56, 30 April 2016

Some of Britain's iconic red phone boxes are set to be given an unusual makeover by a New York co-working space firm. Bar Works is to launch Pod Works in locations including London, Leeds and Edinburgh using old BT phone boxes as mini-work stations for those on the move. Each 'pod' will have wi-fi, a heater, printer, scanner, wireless mouse, 25-inch screen, hot drinks machine and a power bank. 

Future look of telephone kiosks

Call Centre: the Phone Boxes will have a screen, printer and wi-fi

A fee of about £20 a month will provide access via an app to the pods and Bar Works' co-working spaces – former restaurants and bars – in New York and San Francisco. Bar Works chief executive Jonathan Black has done a deal with Red Kiosk Company, a Brighton firm operating a chain of unused red phone boxes. He said: 'Red Kiosk has acquired a lot from BT. I have got 14 so far. Local people will service them and there will be CCTV.' Black, a former venture capital firm boss from London who moved to New York in 2013, said: 'Bar Works started in October last year but I had the idea more than ten years ago. I ran a venture capital firm and had experience of the pub trade. I thought, 'Wouldn't it be great to have all these firms under one roof? Pubs in the UK have rooms upstairs, we could use those.'

But landlords got greedy and charged higher rents, so the model didn't work at that time.He added: 'I came across a closed down bar in New York.  It took a while for people to grasp the idea, but we have three now and 15 per cent of trade is from people walking past.'

He expects the first pods to open in the next eight weeks. Source : The Mail on Sunday

2014 - The 'unloved' Calendar

Daily Telegraph article Calendar failure

This is how I saw the original article - in the Daily Telegraph

After a bit of publicity maybe not

Kiosk Calendar 2014 front cover Wales on Line link Link to the Daily Mail Link to the Daily Mirror Link to the Daily Star Link to The Times

Wales on-line, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Daily Star, The Times

Spoof 2014 Calendar Cover

I prefer the spoof alternative!

2014 - When is a Kiosk an App?

When it's needed to illustrate a cartoon!

Cartoon extolling Apps Robert Thompson web site

Always topical - cartoon copyright Robert Thompson

Red or Green?

The original design of the iconic red British phone boxes were actually green to blend in with the grass and trees. But they blended in so well people started walking into them, so the colour had to change. As Royal Mail also ran telephone services, they were painted the classic red colour. (Source - Daily Mirror)

Row of red telephone kiosks

Row of green kiosks

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 : 17th August 2017