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" The Red Phone Box in Loweswater "

Date & start time:   Monday  9th May 2016.

Location of Start : The red phone box, Loweswater , Cumbria, Uk ( NY 143 211 )

Places visited :      Just local !

Walk details :         Back and fore,  no feet of ascent,  an  hour or so.

With :                       About 15 Guests and locals.

Weather :                A typical Loweswater day   ;o)

© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.

 

Passers-by may have noticed that our local phone box has recently been repainted

despite the fact there has been a discontinuance notice on the inside from BT for some time.

Now the metamorphosis is complete and out of the shell of the old box, a new emergency phone system has emerged.

It has been a stalwart of the valley for many years and is, I understand, a grade-two listed building.

However the advent of mobile phone technology has seen its commercial life come to an end.

Hardly anybody has been using it to make phone calls !

Over the years it has been a meeting point for walkers and Ramblers Groups

and has featured as the start point for many of our local walks here on Loweswatercam.co.uk

It is a local landmark, providing a signpost as good as any modern one . . . "then turn left at the red phone box".

It has been a guiding light at night time . . .

. . . and a dash of colour on a cold wintery morning.

I almost forgot about the time Boris flew in

to present Olympics medals

and gold post box to Harry and Bethan

 

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[ I big thanks to Alan from Worcestershire

who was able to record the scene for me.]

   

 

In recent years the phone box has been downgraded

from standard payphone to a "No coins accepted" card system.

- - - o o o - - -

 

In recent years, individuals or Parishes have been invited

to adopt these boxes for £1 and use it for whatever they like.

Some have become village libraries,

some city-centre cash points with ATMs inside.

Several have bee sealed and filled with water as aquariums,

but many have just closed and been taken away.

All these mean the end of the phone service.

- - - o o o - - -

 

Late last year our First Responder Group had a mail shot from the

Community Heartbeat Trust suggesting it could be resurrected

as an emergency phone and help centre . . what a great idea !

 

So the workmen arrived to paint and convert . . .
. . . a 'local handyman' was commissioned to tile the floor.
   
The frost guarded protective box and 999 intercom connected . . .
. . . and the final splash of red paint completed the conversion.

. . . and we now have a refurbished classic "Red Phone Box" up and running for the benefit of all.

A continuing emergency lifeline in the heart of the rural community.

Inside the notice reads . . .

 

In case of emergency
Use the direct line intercom to connect to
FIRE … POLICE … AMBULANCE … or  MOUNTAIN RESCUE


If the Defib is needed …
the Ambulance Service will give you the unlock code.
It is designed to be used by untrained members of the public
and includes prompts and video instruction during use.

 

- - - o o o - - -

Remember . . . should you need to help in a life saving situation

don't be nervous, collect the defib and try and save a life !

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The phone box is on the corner where the road turns to the Kirkstile

It is 200 yards from the Village hall, 200 yards from the pub and 400 yards from the popular walkers car park at Scale Hill Bridge.

On Sunday last (8th May) the phone box was a landmark for 2000 cyclists on the Fred Witton Challenge.

One or two even stopped briefly for refreshments and a photo.

The route is 110 miles long and includes all of the nine major road passes in Cumbria, over 10,750 feet of climbing.

The fastest rider completed the course in 5 hours 47 minutes this year !  These guys (and girls) are about half way round.

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There was loads of activity around midday on Monday 9th May too . . .

as people gathered for the official commissioning of the new box.

Everyone gathered round to see the new installation . . .

Many photos were taken of people inside and outside the box.

Yvette and I in the phone box in our capacity as First Responders.

Martin and Mark in the limelight representing the sponsors.

The official British Telecom photographer was present . . . as this was the 3,000th Phone Box to be adopted

another milestone in the "Adopt a Phone Box" Scheme for BT.

I help out with a little extra fill-in flash to counteract the high contrast sunlight and shadows,

but what a lovely day we've got to take the photos.

At midday we were joined by several local residents and members of our local Parish Council

. . . plus a journalist and photographer (right) from the local paper, the Times and Star.

For the official group photo of the day.

Myself (Rsp) and Andy (Rsp) Judy and Kathryn (PC) Dave (Green Urban) Martin (CHT) and Dave (of BT).

Holding the defib is Yvette (Rsp) with Dave, Lorna and Kath (PC) and Joan, with Wattie, eminently fulfilling the roll of "local resident with dog"

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In practical terms the Community Heartbeat Trust adopted the phone box and organised the conversion process,

Green Urban of Penrith, a local engineering company, that manufactured the Defib cabinet and converted the phone box.

(They supply this sort of equipment to people all over the UK and abroad should you know someone who need one.)

British Telecom has sponsored the installation by maintaining the light and the phone line

and the Vale of Lorton Community First Responders raised money to buy the defib.

As a superb gesture to mark the "3,000th conversion" Mark Johnson of BT has sponsored the whole cost of this installation

thus allowing the First Responders to use the money raised locally to create a second emergency defib centre

in the village of Lorton in the coming months . . . a real bonus for our local community.

- - - o o o - - -

If you want to adopt a phone box and want do a conversion like ours

please email Martin Fagan or check out the Community Heartbeat Trust web site for full details.

Mark Johnson of BT mentioned that there are nearly ten thousand phone boxes round the country that are soon to be discontinued.

Get in touch before it is too late . . . before your local landmark disappears for good.

- - - o o o - - -

 

 

Technical note: Pictures taken with my Canon 1100D Digital SLR with additional photos from Ron Biggin who was also there on the day.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . the desire to make best use of a local, well loved resource.

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Previous walk - 6th May 2016 - Rannerdale Bluebells - 1 -

A previous time up here - 5th to 9th April 2008 Local Pictures from an April week in 2008

Next walk - 13th May 2016 - 3 Peaks challenge - Esk Hause

BBC News Magazine - 2015 - Web article on old K6 Red phone boxes - 20017 - Second Web article featuring our Red Phone Box