Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Phone Box Graveyard

As the British design classic is given an Olympic spruce-up – and collectors pay thousands to own one – Sarah Rainey visits their secret resting place.....

Inside the Red Phone Box Graveyard
On a deserted industrial estate in the commuter town of Newark, Nottinghamshire, there is a graveyard. But this is no ordinary resting place for the dead. Few know of its existence; even fewer come to pay their respects. Inside a draughty warehouse, the ground is littered with broken glass, scraps of metal and chipped red paint. Its lifeless inhabitants, their insides stripped out, stand in rows on wooden crates. Body parts are detached, cleaned and stored away in crates lining the concrete walls.
Welcome to the graveyard of decommissioned BT phone boxes. This warehouse, run by payphone specialist X2 Connect, is home to more than 150 of them – from a rare 85-year-old red kiosk to state-of-the-art three-cornered machines. When Britain’s phone boxes become damaged beyond repair, this is where they end up. Disembodied ''telephone’’ signs with faded lettering are scattered around the yard, where a flurry of workers are welding and hammering piles of scrap metal and wood, transforming them into shiny kiosks ready to go back out on the street.

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