Angus villagers have rung the changes at the community’s iconic red telephone box to deliver it a new lease of lifesaving.
For almost eight decades the iconic K6 kiosk has been a Little Brechin landmark, fulfilling a role beyond its prime function of being a communication link to the wider world for the village a couple of miles from Brechin.
It’s prominent position at the heart of the community had been a locator point for countless drivers arriving there.
The box has now been restored to its former glory for a new role as a defibrillator cabinet after villager stepped in at the eleventh hour to avoid its removal from the village earlier this year.
Resident Dick Robertson said: “We were made aware by BT Openreach of the imminent removal of the telephone box and the question posed was whether the village would like to adopt it.
“Of course, we couldn’t walk away from this as the phone box is an important feature of the village.
“It transpired that community councils in Scotland are not allowed to own property and fortunately Brechin Healthcare Group, as a charity, stepped in and offered to purchase as it was planned to house a defibrillator there”.
Dick added: “The phone box has been a landmark of the village for nearly eighty years. It’s used by all of the villagers when signposting visitors or deliveries to their house.”
It was duly acquired and through generous donations of cash and hard work has now been fully restored, with an estimated 100 hours involved in the painstaking removal and replacement of the glass panes as well as layers of telephone box red paint.
Mr Robertson added: “As part of the agreement to purchase, BT kindly agreed to leave electrics intact in the kiosk which will allow the charging of a defibrillator unit.
“We will have a lifesaving device in a perfect location within a community and once the unit is installed the intention is to formally cut the ribbon in the spring of 2019 to celebrate the saving and restoration of this iconic piece of national history.”
The villagers are currently looking to find their oldest and youngest resident to take part.
Future plans for next year will see the village information board and surrounding area given a makeover with groundworks, new seating and picnic benches for the benefit of locals and the many walkers who pass through to the village.
K series telephone boxes were first produced in concrete in 1920, before the arrival of the familiar K2 design by Sir Gilbert Scott a few years later following its selection as the winner in a competition to create a kiosk for London’s boroughs.
From 1926, the kiosks were emblazoned with a crown and the K6 version, designed to commemorate the silver jubilee of King George V was the first to appear widely outside London, with around 300,000 made from 1935 onwards.