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  1. ITV Report

B-ringing new life to Britain's old red phone boxes

BT are thinking about decommissioning 89 red phone boxes in the Borders. Credit: PA

Instantly recognisable, the classic red phone box has become a symbol of Britain over the last 80 years, but when was the last time you actually used one?

Nearly 100 red telephone boxes are to be disconnected in the Scottish Borders because they're not being used to make many calls.

The rise in the number of mobile phones has forced BT to write to the council listing 89 bright red booths it is looking at decommissioning.

In April the company reissued their offer to “adopt” more of their iconic phone boxes for community use – for just £1.

The Adopt A Kiosk scheme means more than 4000 phone boxes across Britain can be adopted by communities to put them to good use.

  • Here's some inventive ways to give new life to an old phone box:

A Devon town turned its traditional red phone box into a tiny nightclub – complete with a music system, glitter ball and lighting.

Instead of making phone calls, the kiosk plays records including Blondie’s Hanging On The Telephone and Telephone Line by Electric Light Orchestra.

Only one person – or two at a squeeze – can fit inside the box which has stood for 60 years.

This postbox in Devon was transformed into one-man nightclub. Credit: PA

People in the Scottish Borders may follow suit with villagers in Crossmichael who transformed their telephone box into a miniature library.

They signed up for the 'Adopt a Kiosk' scheme, naming it the 'Wee Book Hoose,'

It was officially opened in 2017 by local author Mary Smith.

Phone box converted into a little library. Credit: PA

Another inventive way of making the most out of the space was thought of by Jake, who owns Birmingham's 'smallest coffee shop.'

A charitable trust called Thinking Outside The Box was granted planning permission to turn the phone boxes into kiosks and they have now been put up for rent.

The organisation has also transformed Brighton phone boxes into ice-cream parlours.

The 'smallest coffee shop in Birmingham.' Credit: PA

Volunteers in Prickwillow bought an old, disused phonebox and turned it into a the smallest art gallery in Cambridgeshire.

The interiors were completely stripped out and art installations from different artists were on shown each month.

This telephone box has been turned into an art gallery. Credit: PA

Residents in the Scottish Borders have been asked to give their opinion on the decision to scrap a number of phone boxes in the region.

The consultation ends on 14 October.

Most people now have a mobile phone and calls made from our public telephones have fallen by around 90 per cent in the past decade. We consider a number of factors before consulting on the removal of payphones, including whether others are available nearby and usage.

"In Scottish Borders, we have made 96 applications to remove payphones. As part of the consultation we are also offering communities the chance to adopt traditional red 'heritage' phone boxes for just £1 through our Adopt a Kiosk scheme."

– BT spokesperson