Sunday 24 May 2020

Villagers make stained-glass NHS window for phone box


Villagers make stained-glass NHS window for phone box

There have been many wonderfully inspiring stories to come out of this current crisis from all around the world (not least the phenomenal fund-raising efforts of top chap Captain - and now soon to be Sir - Tom Moore), which have all served to lighten the mood of the planet, giving us all faith in humanity and hope for better days to come.  Far too many in fact to feature on this blog, in fact (instead I direct your attention to the Sunny Skyz website, which is just the sort of thing I was looking for when I first set up Eclectic Ephemera but which does the good news motif so much better than I could have hoped to).

This article from last month, though, particularly caught my attention with its vintage bent, featuring as it does a favourite design classic of mine and a sadly fast-disappearing piece of historic technology - the red telephone box.

As someone who has recently seen three kiosks removed from my local area - sadly including a timeless K6 - it always makes my heart sing when I see one of those traditional red boxes hanging on in some corner of the country or being adopted by the community and given a fresh purpose such as a library, cash machine, art gallery or as in this case to house a defibrillator.  I myself have a wild idea for re-purposing a K6 call box, but that's something for another post!

Inspired by a similar story from Suffolk a few years ago, the 'phone box in this instance, in the town of Crich in Derbyshire, also has the additional feature of hand-painted stained-glass windows with scenes and representations of local life and businesses replacing the old glass.  Now added to the existing panes is a new image honouring the exemplary work being done by the NHS and a fine example of the art it is too.  Created by retired nurse Kate Richmond, who took stained-glass lessons (and well worth it, by the looks of things), and other members of the local community it is especially significant not only in light of the current situation but also of Mrs Richmond's previous job and the kiosk's new purpose as home to a defibrillator.


Mr & Mrs Richmond and the people of Crich are to be commended for coming up with a charming and representative tribute not only to their local area but also the wider national effort and in a way that adds to the existing appearance of a lasting design.  Long may it continue to exist and serve the people of Crich and - if more red 'phone boxes must lose their original purpose - inspire others to save them in a similar manner.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful way to brighten up the phone box. Even without the stained glass those phone boxes were always much nicer than anything we ever had in the USA. The cellular phones rendered what few were left obsolete.


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