Red phone box returns to Market Harborough

When it disappeared last February on the back of a pick-up truck, Market Harborough was not happy.

Tuesday, 16th January 2018, 8:27 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th January 2018, 8:32 am
Mark Johnson BT head of pay phone adoption hands over the keys to cllr Phl King deputy leader and Margaret Richards of MHiBV with Jeanette Judah, cllr Barbara Johnson and Peter Eddie with the newly installed phone box on the High Street. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-181001-081036005

But now the High Street’s red 1930s phone box is back – concreted in place on Tuesday last week to universal approval.

It won’t have a phone in any more, but it will be a smart bit of visual nostalgia, adopted by the Market Harborough In Bloom team and probably used for publicising local charities.

As BT workmen lifted the re-painted phone box back in place near the High Street’s pinch-point, passers-by all expressed their approval.

“I think it’s brilliant” said Tim Murray. “It’s iconic -a classic design – it should never have been taken away.”

“It is our history” said Noel Gwilt. “I’m always seeing international students from Brooke House College having their picture taken next to it.”

“I was very cross when it went” said Barry Patmore. “It’s part of our heritage.”

Local district councillor Barbara Johnson was one of the people who watched in disbelief as BT hoiked the box out of the town, unannounced.

“I’m very pleased it’s come back to the historic centre of Market Harborough” she said.

“It’s iconic and it’s a reminder of Market Harborough’s past.”

Market Harborough In Bloom co-ordinator Margaret Richards said the box had been “adopted” by the In Bloom team, to be used to publicise voluntary groups and charities in the town.

“It’s a shame it was taken away when there are so few of these boxes left now” she said.

Harborough District Council’s deputy leader Phil King said the return of the phone box was “a great community achievement” by the council, Market Harborough In Bloom and local people..

“You don’t realise how much you appreciate these things until you haven’t got them any more” he said. “It’s really great to see it come back to the High Street, because it’s an iconic image.”