Historic phone box on the Metro to be restored

A community group is set to restore a historic phone box at Whitley Bay Metro station with it due to be returned to its former glory. The Grade II listed kiosk was one of only 50 to be introduced in 1928 with the majority removed in 1935. But the one at Whitley Bay has remained in place but fell into disuse and over the past few decades has suffered from vandalism.

The Whitley Bay Big Local has adopted the kiosk and will look to restore it to show the history of their introduction. The K4 (kiosk number four) acted as a public telephone, post box and stamp dispenser but in time it proved to be unpopular with many removed and placed into museums. This particular example, however, remained in place but had become worse for wear and in need of a lot of TLC.

Sarah Sutton, Community Engagement Manager at Whitley Bay Big Local, said: “The plans are to refurbish it to how it would have been in 1928 and to become a museum piece involving locals. It is all about preserving not just the heritage of this site but also the whole history. We want people to get posting again. Lots of young people don’t use postal systems anymore.”

John Alexander, Metro Operations Director, said: “This classic red phone box is an iconic feature at our Metro station in Whitley Bay. It’s fantastic to see the local community getting together to restore the kiosk to its former glory. It’s an historic piece of street furniture, Grade II listed and a quintessentially British structure, which is quite rightly being preserved. We are looking forward to seeing this project make progress and wish the team Whitley Bay local every success with it.”

Permission has been granted for the upgrade and the group are now exploring funding options.

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