Bryher residents take over sole phone box
The inhabitants of Bryher have taken over its sole phonebox, reducing the number of operational payphones on the islands to eight.
Bryher Community Association asked BT for permission to transfer the kiosk, which is no longer used, into their care and were gifted it for £1 following a 45-day period of consultation. BT Openreach engineer Stuart Moore said: “Because the inhabitants of Bryher are a progressive and forward looking people who can see the benefits of taking the island’s old red kiosk into their care, they approached us and said we’d like to adopt this payphone and love it and make it look pretty. “The papers and planning notices were submitted for withdrawal of service and transfer of ownership from BT to the community of Bryher, who may use it to house a defibrillator or a small lending library or any number of other uses. We will now remove the innards, leaving a shell which they will paint.” The nearest payphone for Bryher residents is now on St Martins. Stuart added: “Hopefully in time this approach might be adopted by the off islands of St Martins and St Agnes, where the remaining red kiosks reside slowly rusting into oblivion. Community adoption is a great way to keep these iconic relics alive for future generations to look at and wonder, ‘is that how people used to make phone calls?’ while taking a photograph of them on their ‘mobile’ phone.” Read Stuart's article on the history of Scilly’s phoneboxes in the next issue of Scilly Now & Then.