VIDEO: Telephone box given new life

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Arguably the smallest information centre has come to the South Downs in the form of a vintage BT telephone box.

The new information centre, based in North Stoke, is in fact a fully-restored iconic telephone box that was sold to the Wiggonholt Association by BT for a nominal £1.

JPCT 130813 S13330493x North Stoke, old BT telephone box used as information centre. Peter Flatter  -photo by Steve Cobb

JPCT 130813 S13330493x North Stoke, old BT telephone box used as information centre. Peter Flatter -photo by Steve Cobb

Peter Flatter, director of the Wiggonholt Association, helped restore the telephone box that proudly displays the moulded Royal crown.

He said: “Having bought this as a derelict telephone kiosk and wondering what to do with it, we decided it’s pretty obvious - it can be an information point for walkers, riders and visitors here.”

With a 12th century church, the Ghurka Suspension Bridge and stunning scenes of natural beauty in close proximity, North Stoke is the ideal location for the new information centre, but returning the box to its former glory was not an easy task.

“The £1 was only the beginning of the expense. We then had to re-glaze it using BT’s own specification; we had to repaint it using BT’s own red paint specification; and we got a grant for the map graphics produced by Trent Design.”

The map indicates all the points of interest with accompanying pictures and a column with additional information.

There are also leaflets detailing what to do and where to go across the South Downs National Park.

Originally designed by Giles Gilbert Scott in 1935 (known as Kiosk No 6), the red telephone box was commissioned by the Post Office to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George V.

The Wiggonholt Association is an environmental charity, which is interested in the conservation of the area, and was delighted to take on the project back in February 2012.

The information centre will receive its official launch on August 27, 12pm, with residents and local officials in attendance.

The information centre is located in North Stoke, five miles north of Arundel off B2139 - just yards from the Church of St Mary The Virgin.