North Wiltshire MP James Gray will re-open a refurbished telephone kiosk at Purton on Friday 17 January after it has been restored and revitalized through the cooperation of the Parish Council and local data communications company Lde Digital Services (www.lde.co.uk).
This listed K6 telephone kiosk is located just outside the public library in the village three miles from Swindon.
The cast iron structure was manufactured by the Lion Foundry Company Ltd of Kirkintilloch in Scotland before 1952. This has been determined by the fact that it carries the purely symbolic Tudor Crown which was replaced in 1952 by a representation of St Edward’s Crown.
When first installed, the K6 kiosk would have been connected to the old Purton telephone exchange located a few hundred yards away in Hyde Lane. It is now a private dwelling but with the words Telephone Exchange still clearly visible.
Structurally the ‘phone kiosk was sound but it was in a poor decorative order and had been vandalized with graffiti, broken windows, cracked cast iron mouldings and a smashed coin box.
Restored to its period glory the kiosk now sports fresh red paint, new windows and a new floor.
And whilst it evokes times passed, inside the phone box has taken on a modern role, providing passers by with high speed WiFi internet access. Visitors will receive a mobile phone message welcoming them to the village.
A special information screen inside will provide a map and details of the locality. The kiosk will also feature a web cam giving the world a little window onto the centre of the village.