Tiree Community Council is proposing to try to “adopt” the majority of telephone boxes in Tiree.
- Very few calls are made from these boxes. BT has already offered some boxes to the Community Heartbeat Trust, to avoid them being removed entirely. The reality is that these boxes will all disappear within the next few years if someone doesn’t take responsibility for them.
- The boxes are suffering from wear and tear.
- We know we can turn them into some brilliant things!
- We don’t want to lose our iconic red phone boxes.
What do we intend to do with them?
- We will ensure they are painted, fixed and maintained.
- BT has already offered some boxes to the Community Heartbeat Trust. We are talking with the Community Heartbeat Trust about installing defibrillators in some boxes, as well as 999 emergency phones.
- We are talking with Tiree Broadband about the possibility of turning them into wifi hotspots, although this will be entirely dependent on network capacity, which is not currently available.
Other proposals include:
- A history trail. People can travel round the boxes, see parts of the island that they may not otherwise see, and find out about the history of each village or area where a box is located
- A scavenger hunt for young visitors. They would need to find answers in all the boxes to get a prize.
- Art exhibitions
- Book swaps
- Offering boxes to community groups or businesses to decorate or advertise in, sell from and take ownership of.
- A great tourist attraction
- Defibrillators within communities
- 999 phones
- Wifi for visitors, distributed around the island
- Fun, quirky and guaranteed smiles
- We get free paint for them, and BT will leave the power on AND pay the bill.
- The boxes will cost the Community Council £1 each
The telephones would be removed by BT. It is likely, however, that these boxes will be decommissioned anyway over time.
Fundraising would be required for defibrillators and SOS phones if we wish to go down that route for some of the boxes.
The public meeting thought that this was a good thing to explore further. No decisions have yet been made.
However, we have been in touch with BT and applied to be considered. All 10 phone boxes we are interested in now have a notice advising people of a 42 day consultation period. There are details on the poster of how to object.
Heanish was not included as it is regularly used.
Cornaig was originally included, but after an objection we have withdrawn that application.
The 42 consultation period is part of a wider 90 day Council consultation period. Once that is over Rhoda will report back to the public meeting and we can figure what if any next steps will be taken.
Tiree phone boxes under consideration
- 01879 220 444 (Mannel)
- 01879 220 389 (Baile Mhullinn)
- 01879 220 350 (Heylipol)
- 01879 220 313 (Kenovay)
- 01879 220 320 (Silversands)
- 01879 220 310 (Caolas)
- 01879 220 441 (Baile Phuil)
- 01879 220 328 (Crossapol)
- 01879 220 331 (Scarinish)
- 01879 220 477 (Middleton)