Like the black cabs and the red double decker buses, phone boxes are among the most iconic features of the city of London around the world. Now totally redundant in the mobile age, those historic landmarks are quickly deteriorating to become little more than stag-do prank devices and the drunk’s favourite improvised toilets.
So should we just accept their sell-by date has come and call it a day? Not necessarily. Here are a few ideas on how we could recycle them.
How cool would it be to drop off your phone at the nearest post box for half an hour, come back and resume your London monuments photoshoot (because let’s be honest, that’s what you were doing) with a fully powered device? There was actually a project to introduce those back in 2004, with green phone boxes being unveiled using solar energy.
Again, how amazing would that be? While many bars, coffee shops are restaurants now have free wifi for their customers, this would allow people to enjoy connection when out and about, too.
In practice, this wouldn’t change much of how they are currently used, so why not? There are few toilets in London particularly on public transports, so this would solve a real problem (I’m not putting a picture for that)
There are a few nice ones already, like this Banksy which appeared overnight in Soho back in 2006, and the domino boxes of Kingston upon Thames high street.
Tributes to high achievers
It would be a similar thing to the golden post boxes introduced to honour the best British athletes in the wake of the London 2012 Games. It could even be used as an acknowledgement for service to the city or something. Or we could just paint phone boxes in gold because it would look cool.
Food stands and shops
This idea has actually been put into practice by Birmingham-based Jake Hollier, who surely opened the city’s smallest coffee shop last year (see below). Let’s face it, foreign tourists would line up by the thousands to buy a cup of tea or a full English from a red phone box. And quite frankly, so would I.
If you liked this absolutely pointless post, you might like this one about how tea should actually be served