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Britain’s Longest Line Of Iconic Red Telephone Boxes To Be Transformed Into Art Installations

Preston's historic telephone boxes, damaged by vandals, will be restored with contemporary lights and graphic art

Britain’s longest line of iconic red telephone boxes are set to be transformed into art installations – after falling into decay. The nine Grade II-listed cast iron kiosks in Preston, Lancashire, have all fallen into disrepair and had the telephones removed from them.


But despite being damaged by vandals, the city’s council is now hoping to transform the boxes with the help of local artists into a ‘must see’ attraction. It plans to restore the ‘iconic telephone boxes’ with contemporary lights and graphic images.


Councilor Peter Kelly, cabinet member for culture at the council, is ‘proud’ that Preston is the home of the longest line of telephone boxes. He added he wants to improve the telephone boxes with ‘dynamic and creative installations’ from local artists.


“We are proud to celebrate Preston being the home of the UK’s longest line of historic red telephone boxes. An outstanding landmark in the heart of our city that we are committed to bringing back to life for this, and future generations to enjoy,” said Councilor Peter Kelly. 


“If we are successful in our application we plan to undertake the necessary restoration works in 2024 to enable the telephone boxes to be animated with dynamic and creative installations,” he added.


“We plan to work with local artists to commission contemporary light, audiovisual or graphic works to bring the telephone boxes alive, create a must see and add to the vibrancy of the Harris Quarter,” he continued.


Situated outside the former head post office on Market Street in the city center, the row of much-loved telephone boxes was acquired by the council in 2021. Chair of Preston’s Towns Fund Strategic Board, John Chesworth, says the restoration would be a ‘fantastic asset’ to the city.


“The restoration of these iconic telephone boxes is excellent news and again adds to the improvements we’re achieving in the Harris Quarter. They are a small but fantastic city asset and bringing them back into use has always been on the agenda,” said John Chesworth.


“Once back in use, I’m absolutely positive they’ll be a focal point for many people and will be well utilized,” he added.


The telephone box was designed by British architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in 1935 and became a staple of British culture.


Produced in association with SWNS Talker

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