Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 4°C


Idea extends shelf life of old phone box

PUBLISHED: 06:00 09 April 2011

Villagers in Lawshall near Bury St Edmunds have turned their redundant phone box into a book swap shop.; Local Barry Harber choosing a book

Villagers in Lawshall near Bury St Edmunds have turned their redundant phone box into a book swap shop.; Local Barry Harber choosing a book


FOR generations the iconic red phone box has been a quintessential feature of the British 
village green.

But for those driving through the village of Lawshall, near Bury St Edmunds, the red phone box near The Swan is not as it first appears.

The diminutive cast-iron box was bought by the village for £1 when BT decided it was no longer cost-effective to maintain it as a telephone booth.

Once purchased, the village then had to decide what to do with it.

A number of ideas were put forward by villagers and the red box is now home to a community notice board and a book swap shop.

Indeed, where the old “telephone” logo once took pride of place at the top of the booth, the words “information” and “book swap shop” are now proclaimed in black letters on a white background.

Parish council chairman Barry Harber said the idea was not unique and had been done successfully elsewhere in the country. He said: “When we got the offer to buy it we said yes immediately. Then we thought: what are we going to do with it?

“I spotted in Country Life a village in Yorkshire that had used one for a book swap shop, and I thought, why not?

“In the end we have combined the two winning ideas – the book swap and the information kiosk. It is now full of books.”

He said it was too early to tell whether the book swap scheme would be a success because it had only been open for a few days.

However, Mr Barber said he hoped once word got around about the new facility, it would become well used and that people would bring and take books in the true spirit of swapping.

He said anybody travelling through the village in desperate need of a public telephone box would still be catered for because the village once had two.

The working telephone box remains in the village – though it has been modernised by BT and is sleek and silver rather than bright red.

Energy bosses are facing growing pressure to rethink plans for a substation in a Suffolk beauty spot – after the site’s owner raised a “technical objection” to its use.

A Suffolk charity combatting rural isolation has been praised in a Government report on how to tackle loneliness.

Police have warned of the dangers of drug use after finding empty canisters of laughing gas by a Suffolk village hall.

A driver has been taken to hospital with ‘potentially life changing injuries’ after their 4x4 crashed into a stationary vehicle, reported to have been a digger.

Bailey hasn’t had the best start to life and hopes someone can give him the loving home he deserves. Watch our video of him playing with his favourite toy.

A woman is reported to have been raped in a north Essex field.

A young woman is receiving specialist support after alleging she was sexually assaulted in an Essex alleyway in the early hours of this morning.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24