There are four red telephone boxes in Poole Park that were installed in the early 1990’s. BCP Council has recently been contacted by BT who operate the remaining pay phones to inform us that the phone equipment will be removed around the 16th July, meaning the empty kiosks will be left in place because they are the property of the Council.
The kiosks are of the K6 design that was designed by Giles Gilbert Scott and first introduced in the UK in 1936, 60,000 were originally installed and an estimated 10,000 remain. The Poole Park kiosks have been in decline for some time and sourcing spares, funding the maintenance following vandalism or wear and tear and keeping the kiosk up together has become increasingly challenging.
During the Development Phase of the Poole Park Life project the Conservation Plan was written (available here) and assessed park features for their significance (a collective term for the sum of all the heritage values attached to a place – read more here) and the kiosks were defined as being neutral, in other words not positively contributing to the place, but not detracting either.
With BT’s decision to remove the phone equipment, cost of maintenance and lack of significance within Poole Park the Council is therefore intending to remove three out of the four kiosks:
- the kiosk on Westfield, near to the toilets and opposite the larger play area
- the two kiosks near to The Ark cafe
The Council are considering selling the three kiosks with all proceeds being used within Poole Park to fund improvements.
The remaining phone kiosk near to the Information Kiosk could be retained with various ideas possible – a litter pick station, for a book swap, housing park heritage information and leaflets, hosting a defibrillator or other uses. We are working to try and improve the use of the Information kiosk and the old phone kiosk can play a part alongside it.
The phone kiosks in Poole Park, near to The Ark; at the Information kiosk; and at Westfield.