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Famous phone box is set to be decommissioned

By Central Somerset Gazette  |  Posted: November 10, 2012

Linda Ashford with the telephone box on Somerton Road in Street

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The Street phone box that's been grabbing national headlines could soon disappear for good.

The red phone box on Somerton Road in Street has been rescued from the clutches of the ivy that engulfed it but could soon disappear completely.

Street Parish Council turned down an offer from BT to buy the phone box from them in September 2008, and since then it has fallen into a state of neglect.

The phone box was due to be decommissioned when Street resident Linda Ashford drew attention to it's overgrown state by writing a poem about it, published in our letters pages on October 18. The story was picked up by the national press and the phone box became famous overnight.

Linda has written the few lines below to thank BT Openreach for cleaning up the phone box but was disappointed to find you couldn't make cash calls and that it was due to be removed.

BT spokesman Jason Mann said: "You can make calls to the operator, the emergency services and freephone. You can also enter credit or debit card details to make a call.

"However the phone box has very low usage and will be decommissioned. It will definitely be removed but we don't have a date set."

Linda said: "I understand that with mobile phones phone boxes are not used much these days. But the red phone boxes are a part of our national heritage and it's a shame it's got to go.

"The phone box is on a very busy junction and there are a lot of accidents there. I would like to see it put back into use, in case of emergencies.

"Or perhaps it could be saved and another use found for it as has happened in Westbury-sub-Mendip and Babcary.

"The Westbury-sub-Mendip phone box is used as a book exchange for the village and sandbags are stored in an old style phone box in Babcary."

Do you think that Street Parish Council should reconsider their decision not to adopt the phone box?

Please email: editor@midsom news.co.uk or write to Central Somerset Gazette Southover, Wells, BA5 1UH.

Poem by Linda Ashford

I'm just a little phone box

looking out at you,

I'm just a little phone box

I've got a better view,

Thank you BT for cleaning me up

it didn't take long at all,

now I'm standing in this corner

so proud and very tall.

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