Werneth Low phonebox adoption plan takes huge step

PLANS to adopt an old red phone box that has raised as many questions as answers have taken a massive step forward.

Lettering on the side of the facility on Werneth Low has confused people for many years – not least over how to pronounce Tejrjwne.

But after BT earmarked it for removal, people living nearby came up with a scheme to adopt and convert it.

Now it looks set to be given the go ahead with a defibrillator being put in.

Friends of Tejrjwne phone box group with Cllr Ruth Welsh and Cllr Phil Chadwick

A consultation period for the proposal by the group known as the Friends of Tejrjwne has expired – and the fact there were no objections means they can press ahead.

A spokesman for the group said: “It’s now just a matter of waiting for paperwork to be completed by the Community Heartbeat Trust (CHT) and BT.

“Once that is all in place BT will decommission the telephone. This should be completed early in this year.

“We will then need to liaise with the CHT to formulate a plan of action for the defibrillator.”

Because there were no objections to the Friends of Tejrjwne’s plan, it is almost as if the hard work has now started.

As well as the defibrillator, members will renovate both the inside of the box – which BT itself admits has no clue over the writing – and the area surrounding it.

The inside panels are set to be fitted out with details of local walks, local history and information on the flora and fauna of the area.

There will also be children’s treasure hunts set up and quiz sheets made available inside the kiosk. Then, of course, the important installation of the defibrillator. 

The spokesman added: “We hope lots of people will get involved along the way and we are sure there will be some great ideas coming forward of how we can celebrate this lovely landmark.”

The phone box on Werneth Low

News of BT placing the box on a list of those earmarked for removal sparked a response among the local Gee Cross community, with councillors Phil Chadwick and Ruth Welsh getting involved.

However, that is one of hundreds around the country that have been taken on and converted into a number of different things.

In Warley, West Yorkshire, one has been converted into ‘the world’s smallest museum’ while one in Kingsbridge, Devon, is now a tiny nightclub.

The Correspondent also witnessed first hand how people in Tideswell, Derbyshire, have made use of a booth in their village.

Now it is the Tideswell History Box, where people can lift up the receiver, press a number and hear a stories from the area’s past.

Its aim is to preserve and communicate more than 150 years of community life.

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