Residents seek new roles for listed telephone boxes

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One of the phone boxes on Breakspears Road. Pic: Emmet Simpson

Local residents in Brockley have stepped in to find new uses for two protected red telephone boxes that have fallen into disuse.

The listed boxes, located on the corners of Lewisham Way and Wickham Rd and Lewisham Way and Breakspears Rd, have been acquired by local residents as part of BT’s new Adopt a Kiosk scheme.

The scheme, which has attracted celebrity support from Queen guitarist Brian May, allows communities the opportunity of converting local phone boxes into public installations, which have included libraries, grocery shops and even emergency defibrillator points.

A meeting to be held tomorrow by the ‘Brockley Box Collective’, in order to discuss possible uses for the spaces.

Ideas mooted for the Brockley boxes include creating wifi hotspots, public artspaces or greenhouses. There is also the possibility of a timeshare system, where residents would be able to book a slot online and find temporary uses for the boxes.

Adopt a Kiosk has so far been popular in small towns, but Brockley residents’ will be the first to trial the scheme in London.

The adopting of local phone boxes is the latest in a string of initiatives aiming at rejuvenating the area around Brockley station, including a new food garden on Brockley common and a large redevelopment program of new housing blocks.

 By Joseph Thrush

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