New lease of life for Sidmouth phone box

PUBLISHED: 19:30 14 May 2016

Sheila Mitchlemore with Molly and Beryl Roseveare at the opening of the phonebox library in Fortescue. Ref shs 18-16TI 0398. Picture: Terry Ife

Sheila Mitchlemore with Molly and Beryl Roseveare at the opening of the phonebox library in Fortescue. Ref shs 18-16TI 0398. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

The ribbon has been cut on a once-dilapidated phone box given a new lease of life by residents as a book-borrowing hub.

The opening of the phonebox library in Fortescue by Ward Cllr David Barratt and Buffie Cavin. Ref shs 18-16TI 0383. Picture: Terry IfeThe opening of the phonebox library in Fortescue by Ward Cllr David Barratt and Buffie Cavin. Ref shs 18-16TI 0383. Picture: Terry Ife

Evan Rosevear and Keith Craddock gave up 30 hours of their time sanding down and repainting the defunct piece of street furniture last year.

And last week, district councillor David Barratt, who was ‘instrumental’ in the phone box being adopted from BT, had the honour of cutting the ribbon.

Fortescue Committee member and retired police officer Buffie Cavin said: “It’s now open to books and it’s being used lots.

“I’ve heard lots of comments about how good it’s looking.

The opening of the phonebox library in Fortescue. Ref shs 18-16TI 0396. Picture: Terry IfeThe opening of the phonebox library in Fortescue. Ref shs 18-16TI 0396. Picture: Terry Ife

“Most of the books are from my house and lots of other residents have donated – there’s everything from reference books to children’s books and novels.”

The phone box is a pillar of the Fortescue Road community – many houses do not have numbers so residents use it to direct visitors to their homes.

As well as getting a lick of paint, it has been decorated inside with floral wallpaper and there is a notice of its adoption from BT. A poster sets out the arrangement – anyone who takes a book is asked to bring it back or replace it.

The work was funded by a street party Fortescue residents hold every other year.

The opening of the phonebox library in Fortescue. Ref shs 18-16TI 0374. Picture: Terry IfeThe opening of the phonebox library in Fortescue. Ref shs 18-16TI 0374. Picture: Terry Ife

Previously, it has funded daffodil planting – before the Sid Vale Association’s Valley of a Million Bulbs project ever started.


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