Tuesday 23 January 2018

Ballad for Bucklebury phone box

Daniel Nicholls, the Duchess of Cambridge's former piano teacher
Daniel Nicholls, the Duchess of Cambridge's former piano teacher

In the run-up to the royal wedding last year, pictures of one classic English phone box were broadcast all over the world.

The old red kiosk in Kate Middleton's home village of Bucklebury in Berkshire featured in scores of television reports.

Now that humble phone box is the subject of two songs written specially by the Duchess of Cambridge's former piano teacher.

Residents of the home counties village have bought the decommissioned kiosk from BT for the reasonable sum of £1 and transformed it into a book exchange.

It will receive a grand opening on Sunday when villagers will enjoy afternoon tea and two songs performed by a choir to mark the occasion.

Composer and music teacher Daniel Nicholls, who taught Kate, her sister Pippa, brother James and mother Carole, already has a hit under his belt.

He wrote A Song For Kate (And William) as a wedding present for the couple and was rewarded with a letter of thanks from the royals.

His newest efforts, entitled The Ballad of Bucklebury, tell the story of a phone box and the books it will now house. To make it even more special, villagers have decorated the box with a timeline of Bucklebury events on the panes of glass, from the Middle Ages to the royal wedding.

But after its moment in the spotlight, Mr Nicholls said life in the village is back to normal. "It was all very positive and lovely. Nobody felt it was an intrusion even though there were TV crews from all over the world. Now it's back the way it was."

However, Mr Nicholls said he still holds very fond memories of the wedding. "That moment when they all came out on to the balcony was probably the most famous of the day and I remember thinking, 'of the 16 people on that balcony, 25% came here for piano lessons'. That's not bad."

Press Association

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