Saturday, 8 September 2012

The End of the Hunt

At last, I found the perfect spot to be photographed for Number 21 of The 2012 Scavenger Hunt, organised by Rinda over at Gallo Organico. This particular photograph created certain difficulties: I was to appear in it; I had to stand next to something that symbolises my nation; and I couldn't cop opt out of it and use a substitute. 



As is usually the case, a photo opportunity presented itself when I was least expecting it. This red telephone box in my village has stood empty for quite some time. After our recent Church Fete, it was decided that all unsold books could be placed in the box and people could help themselves as they passed by. This has now become a free library. For every book taken, another is left in it's place.




This style of telephone box was designed by Giles Gilbert Scott when he won a competition judged by the Royal Fine Art Commission in 1924. The original box of Scott's first design still stands today by the left entrance archway of the Royal Academy. I like the artistic connection.

Red telephone boxes have a prominent position in my life. When I was young, we didn't have a telephone inside our house, not many people did. In an emergency, you received a telegram. To make a telephone call, I had to go to the red box on the corner of the road. A call cost two copper pennies that I would feed into the money slot and then I would dial the number I wanted to reach. If someone answered, I would press button A but if no-one answered, I could press button B and get my money back. I can still hear the clatter that the coins made as they fell into the waiting silver tray.

Throughout my early childhood, the red box was where I stood to speak to my beloved grandmother, my mother when she was away from home, and my first boyfriend. Arrangements were made in that box for my first ever holiday, and sometimes it was where one heard sad news. Even when we got our own telephone, if I was away on a visit somewhere, I would still use the red telephone boxes to call home. 

Going on this Scavenger Hunt has, in many ways, been an enormous trip down memory lane and I am so thankful to Rinda for organising it. I have opened my eyes more and seen things afresh because of it. And it has been enormous fun.

Enjoy the weekend!

18 comments:

helena said...

lovely photo and great choice for something to represent UK

Louise said...

red telephone boxes certainly symbolize our nation and how lovely to have turned it into a libary!

Elizabeth said...

I love your red telephone box and the fact it is now being used for a lending library. Progress is not always good when all that is left is memories.

Maria Ontiveros said...

I love this post in so many ways - the photo of you is wonderful. I love the iconic nature of the phone boxes but did not know there history. Mostly, it touches my heart that you got so much out of the hunt. I think you get out of it what you put into it. Thanks for joining this year!
Rinda

Beverly said...

A great choice and I love that it is now being used so well.

Sian said...

A library in a phone box? How perfect is that! I love it.

Gail said...

Perfect choice! Congrats on getting all 21.

Mary B said...

A lovely way to record something that means England to you. and what a super idea to use it as a free library. Unfortunately we don't have any red boxes left in my town. Such a shame that they all had to go.

Melissa said...

Congratulations on finishing the hunt - this is a great photo finale!

Alison said...

Well done on getting finished Irene..and I too love the idea of the phone box being used for a library!!
Alison xx

Cheri said...

Awesome final photo! I love the red phone booths and love even more that your group has found such a wonderful use for it!

Jimjams said...

what an awesome idea for a final shot (I took one in Warwick in case my own final idea doesn't work out - DD found a half-bottle of whiskey inside ... rather have found books though). We had a telephone but as a kid I always checked the B button in case there was still change to come out!! Can't remember ever getting any though!

Missus Wookie said...

I was so grateful that London's red boxes were spared. I do love them, worry about what will happen as so many people have mobile phones. I've heard of several villages using them as libraries - seems such a good idea.

Congratulations on completing - I too have really enjoyed the hunt.

Abi said...

This is a lovely photo and a lovely story. I think I saw this idea in the paper the other day; villages using the telephone boxes as libraries!

Scrappi Sandi said...

We too have a redundant red phone box in our village & I would love to see it used as a library! Must speak to the parish council!! Through my childhood & up to leaving home at age 23 we didn't have a home phone & mobiles were a thing of science fiction! So I can identify with your memories of all communications being via the red box about 300yards down the road! I remember it taking thruppences & sixpences & then, after decimalisation, 2p's & 10p's!! Thanks for the trips down memory lane!! :D

scrappyjacky said...

I love that you chose the red phone box....a completely iconic symbol of our country.....so sad that there are fewer and fewer of them left.I spent many hours in them as a teenager....usually phoning for a lift home!
How great that it is now a library.

Starnitesky said...

I chose to take a use a red telephone box as a symbol of our nation. It is actually still working. I have seen them used as libraries in some of the villages near where I live. I have linked my blog back to yours for the information.

Jennifer Grace said...

I love red phone boxes because they always seem proud, no matter how old they get. They command respect. It's sad that there aren't as many around now. x