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Sudbury councillor begins heritage project to restore traditional red telephone box in town for community uses




Have you noticed something missing from Sudbury lately?

For town councillor and lifelong local resident John Sayers, the answer is the lack of traditional red telephone booths that once populated the town.

Many of these phone boxes disappeared from the area after BT announced in 2016 its intention to remove those which had significantly declined in use.

SUDBURY.Town Hall, Sudbury, Suffolk.Sudbury town councillor John Sayers is campaigning to restore traditional red phone kiosks in the town, for various community uses. Picture by Mark Westley. (13320593)
SUDBURY.Town Hall, Sudbury, Suffolk.Sudbury town councillor John Sayers is campaigning to restore traditional red phone kiosks in the town, for various community uses. Picture by Mark Westley. (13320593)

But several rural communities have preserved these kiosks by adapting them for various uses, including as a place for members of the public to exchange books and magazines, or to house a 24/7 emergency defibrillator.

Mr Sayers is now spearheading a drive to restore one of these classic phone booths in Sudbury, and has made inquiries to try to secure funding for the project.

He told the Free Press the intention of the project is not only to emulate neighbouring communities, but also for the kiosk to serve as “an iconic feature” of the town.

“I think it would be part of the local scene for the benefit of the townspeople and tourists,” he said. “I feel that quite strongly.

“I can remember all of these kiosks from my boyhood in Sudbury. But they’ve all gradually disappeared. It’s a pity if surrounding villages have them, but Sudbury does not.

“I want to see if there’s support for such an iconic item to be reintroduced.

“I think Sudbury, as a town, is very proud of its history and heritage. When these features disappear, it makes the town seem less important as a whole.”

Mr Sayers added that he believes there could be momentum behind the idea, following the recent push to increase the number of community defibrillators in Sudbury.



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