Saturday, 27 March 2010

Litter & progress

If it is possible to have an exciting day when restoring a kiosk, today was that day! Our plan today was to remove the railings round the back, remove the remaining perspex panes in the East facing third side, and remove the unit on the back wall where the telephone and coin box would have been bolted to. As usual, we didn't actually complete much of that.

The bolts holding the unit on the wall were knackered, so we decided to drill out the bolts. The unit isn't going back in the kiosk, so we are not too concerned about damaging parts of it. However, despite putting my cordless drill on charge, the battery was dead, so the unit is still firmly stuck to the wall. We'll add that to the list for next weekend.

We then decided to remove the railings from behind the kiosk which protects the South facing fourth side. The amount of dirt that had accumulated by the side of the kiosk meant we were in for a fair amount of digging. It was during this digging that we discovered some interesting bits of litter.

We found an old Schweppes bottle, an old Golden Wonder Smokey Bacon flavour crisps bag which cost three pence, and amazingly a Tip Top frozen juice wrapper which cost 2d. This throws up two observations, clearly the environmentalist's argument about the hazards of plastic look pretty sound (the Tip Top wrapper must have been by the side of the kiosk since at least 1971), and the Council's waste management partner is failing the residents of Brookwood. I think I'll ask Cllr Glynis to request a Council Tax rebate on our behalf. The picture shows the wrappers after a quick clean up - these will be kept as part of the history of the kiosk.

Whilst digging out the dirt we discovered the posts were not as rusted through as we first thought. This led to another discussion about what to do and we decided to leave the posts where they are, remove the railings and put them back again some time in the future. This time, however, we are not going to leave the posts exposed thus providing an opportunity for vandals to snap them off, so we have left the railings there at the moment, and Alan will make up some bars to replace the railings as a short term measure until the railings are restored.

So, with two of our tasks having ground to a halt, we went back to the staple scraping of paint. Alan removed the perspex from the third side (there is no perspex left in the kiosk now), and worked on the putty, and I started stripping the paint from the crown on the fourth side. I was going to work on the third side, but the ivy on the wall was wet, and we forgot to bring any ladders. As can be seen in the above picture, there is what looks like a sewage ventilator made of concrete which can be stood on, so I could reach the top.

By the time we gave up for the day, we had almost finished the crown area of the fourth side, and almost removed all the putty from the third side. We are grateful to the resident who dropped by and gave us some money which will pay for the new door handle we need.

Finally, as we were clearing the usual litter that had been thrown in the kiosk, we discovered a small bag with six pence inside. Not a lot, but it's been added to the restoration fund, and we're certainly not going to discourage people throwing money in the kiosk!

This coming week should be quite productive, and our totally unrealistic plans are to finish removing all the remaining paint from the outside of the kiosk, and prime it over the long weekend if the weather holds.


  1. Hey

    I just want to say thanks for posting these pics. I am one of the Directors of Northlew Broadband, a rural broadband supplier in Devon. We have now decided to not only restore our adopted phone box but to re-commission it as, well a phone box and your blog is invaluable, as ours is in a similar condition from years of neglect by BT etc.

    If I can help you with any problems we find and overcome, please feel free to email me at

    Once again; thanks for not only your blog, but also the care you are showing our heritage!

    Christopher Marson
    Northlew Broadband

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