Tuesday 23 January 2018

Phone home: Villagers stage round-the-clock vigil to protect red telephone box

phone detail
phone detail

RESIDENTS of a tiny fishing village have set up a round-the-clock vigil to prevent their red telephone box being taken away.

Villagers in Kilmuir, on the Black Isle north of Inverness, realised they were about to lose the box when a lorry drive with two red kiosks already on his trailer stopped to ask directions.

He was told he would not be able to remove the box without a “fuss” and residents have since set up a barricade using three cars to prevent the lorry’s crane reaching the picturesque kiosk.

They claim the classic “K6” style box, designed by the architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, is an important part of the village.

The protestors are operating a rota system, with vehicles being replaced as soon as they have to leave the site.

They say the phone box is as important to local residents as the box in the village of Pennan in north east Scotland, which featured in the 1983 film Local Hero.

Catherine MacRae, 65, who has been spearheading the campaign, said: "We will keep the cars there until we know the box is safe and will stand around it ourselves to stop them taking ft away if we had to. But we're hoping it won’t come to that.

"We need it for safety reasons. It's there because we're so close to the sea, in case of emergencies. We also like to see it there. It's quite iconic really and is part of the village."

Mrs MacRae said notices had been displayed on the car windows saying: “Please do not remove this call box - the community only heard of the threat to this local landmark on the evening of October 2, 2012, and steps are being taken to preserve it."

The truck arrived at Kilmuir "out of the blue" at about 7pm on Tuesday and was met by Viola Lawtor, 64, who lives on the outskirts of the village.

She said: "He already had two red phone boxes on the back of the lorry and stopped to ask if I could tell him where the phone box was.

"I told him he could not take our phone box away without a fuss. He said he needed to speak to his supervisor and would come back the next day."

Auslan Cramb Telegraph.co.uk

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