The iconic British phone box goes literary

Notes from the U.K.

BT (that’s British Telecom—a.k.a. the phone company) has been uninstalling the iconic red British telephone boxes all around the country in recent years.

Now, I understand that pay phones aren’t a money-making proposition anymore, but where cell phone coverage is spotty (and around here it has a bad case of the measles) they can be a lifeline. Besides, people like them. They’re iconic. They’re red. They’re shaped like Dr. Who’s police box.

In places, villages have fought to keep them, and as far as I know they’ve lost the battle, no matter how good their arguments. My village lost two—one by the beach, which could potentially have saved a life because it was in a measles spot, and another along the road, which was less important, although could have presented a better argument for keeping that one if somebody hadn’t set it on fire.

In a few places, though, villages lost the…

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