Sunday, 16 May 2010

Brookwood Expo Now Open

The rain stayed away long enough for the Brookwood Expo to be offically declared open. Having done all the hard work with Woking Borough Council when the kiosk was in the process of being adopted, Cllr Glynis Preshaw was given the honour of cutting the ribbon that marks the end of the restoration and the beginning of The Brookwood Expo, probably the worlds smallest permanent exhibition hall.

A great many people turned out for the event, with VIPs Tony and Victoria from Unicorn Kiosks making the trip up to witness the opening and check out the quality of the job Alan and I have done. I'm pleased to report that the thumbs up were given.
The media were present too, with Beth from the Woking News & Mail, Jon and the Radio Wey mascot from Radio Wey taking photographs and interviewing people.

Then it was over to Brookwood Social Club for a few beers to celebrate.

Brookwood Expo may be viewed at

Friday, 14 May 2010

Restoration Complete!

WOW, the gold leaf crowns make all the difference. Walking down from the station today, it was good to see other commuters double take as they walked past.

Last night Alan and I fitted the leather door restraining straps and cleaned up more of the glass. The leather straps look excellent and justify the hard work put in to clean them up. It's unfortunate that they along with the brass hinges won't be easily viewable as the door will be locked, but they can be seen very well through the windows.

I also took a call from a chap called David in East Devon who had read the blog and was looking for information about adopting and restoring the kiosk in their village. This is exactly why I started blogging the restoration and will be happy to speak with anyone wanting help.

Today, as well as Roy from Allsigns gilding the crowns, we have swept the area, and more importantly, started to dress the area surrounding the kiosk. One of our major concerns was the exposed cables at the back of the kiosk. We found these when we removed the dirt that had built up over the years. One was the telephone line (now disconnected), but the other was the electricity cable which is very important. We were worried that some goon might choose to cut it, so we wanted to devise a solution to cover it up. We decided to drop some boards down in front of the rails, and then fill the remaining space with gravel. This works really well, and the boards should stop the build up of dirt.

Although the pictures here are good, they don't really do it justice, so please pop along and have a look at the kiosk in the flesh. Alan and I are extremely proud of our achievement, but the real test will be on Sunday when Tony from Unicorn Kiosks gives us his view of our efforts.

On Sunday at two o'clock in the afternoon, the kiosk is officially unveiled, and so begins 'The Brookwood Expo', the kiosk's new lease of life. The opening exhibition will be about the kiosk restoration. Everyone is welcome to attend.

So, the kiosk restoration is now complete and we move on to preservation mode. We still have to finish off the railings which will happen over the summer period. This blog will continue as we keep the kiosk in tip top condition.

Thank you to everyone who has been involved in this community based project. We have raised virtually all the funds from within the village, and have managed to spend almost two thirds of the budget back in the village. This is an achievement in itself. Over the weekend, I'll put the final poster in the kiosk which will name all those people, organisations and businesses which have helped us along the way. Thank you.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Fully glazed

The kiosk early this morning. The sun is shining on to the left side, you can see the glare in the photo. Also, my reflection can be made out in the glass (that didn't happen with the perspex that BT fitted in recent years).

The pane which Allsigns made up for us is now in the kiosk and jolly good it looks too.

We have fitted the new door handle which finishes it off nicely.

Tonight, the door closer having been painted has been refitted back in the kiosk. The glass in the door side has been cleaned up and looks much better. We will attack the other two sides tomorrow night and we'll also fit the two leather door straps. This will conclude our restoration work on the kiosk. I'm also hopeful that Allsigns will gild the crowns tomorrow, although I'm assured it will definitely be done this week. Either way, we'll still be on time, and on budget, which is good news.

The kiosk has been mentioned again in this week's News & Mail, publicising the completion on Sunday. Thank you to Beth for the plug. I hope to publish completed photos before the weekend.

Monday, 10 May 2010


Well, the sponsor a pane initiative is back on after some vandal (Alan) managed to crack one of the panes of glass. I'll contact Glassmaster tomorrow and order two more so we have one spare. As has been written on this blog frequently, the kiosk is not precision engineered and some areas are not perfect. In this case, the kiosk frame is slightly wavy, and when the brass pin was tapped in, the glazing frame pushed against the glass and cracked it.

We now have two sides of the kiosk fully glazed, and we have started on the door. As can be seen, the PUSH/PULL sign has been fitted (and we got it the right way round). This is a major milestone as it is one of the three key additions which will be added over the next few days.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

How to Glaze a Kiosk

Seeing as we have gone to great lengths to re-glaze the kiosk in the most original way possible, and just in case anyone reading this blog is about to restore their own kiosk we thought we would give an overview of how we put the glass in. Originally, cast iron frames were used. It is still possible to get these, but they are around £16 each, and when you need 24 of them, it quickly mounts up. We're not trying to win awards here, so we decided steel frames would suffice.

In addition, we decided early on to fit laminated glass rather that toughened glass. The theory being that busting laminate glass isn't as much fun as toughened glass as toughened glass shatters, whereas laminate glass cracks. So we thought that perhaps vandals would be less likely to break the windows. Laminate glass presented us with an additional problem which is the brass pins used to hold the glass in wouldn't quite fit due to the extra thickness of the glass.

Our solution was to make our own glazing frames with the holes drilled in the correct position for our glass. The final difference between how the kiosks were originally glazed and the way we have done ours is our use of silicone as a sealant rather than putty.
The pictures here show a bead of silicone being applied to the kiosk frame edge. We then push the glass in place, and apply another line of silicone to provide a watertight seal. Then the glazing frame is put in place, and finally the brass pins are dropped through the holes, and lightly tapped in place. These pins go through the bottom of glazing frame, through the kiosk and then through the top of the next glazing frame below.

Once they've all been done, you end up with a complete side glazed, a bit like the picture here. The glass in the picture here still needs a decent clean, there are remnants of masking tape which we'll remove during the week. We have started glazing the third side and by the time we finished had fitted three panes. We will easily finish this by next Sunday.
Tonight we have been invited to an inteview about the kiosk on Radio Wey which will be really cool.

P.S. Update @ 21:26 - The interview tonight on Radio Wey was really interesting, DJ Jon was very good and made sure we were at ease. We covered lots about the kiosk and the community aspect of it. He even dug out Blondie's Hanging on the Telephone to launch the interview. Luckily a recording of the interview will be made available to us and we'll publish it at some point.

Friday, 7 May 2010

First Panes of Glass Added

Great progress today, we started before seven this morning, with Alan finishing off the painting of the glazing frames. We then headed down to the kiosk. We painted the ceiling first which now looks absolutely fantastic. I think it will look really good when dark, as the light will reflect nicely off the ceiling and the white posters. The inside is now painted as the kiosks were originally designed.

We then moved on to painting the rest of the kiosk. The kiosk has now had two complete coats. It takes on an extraordinary sheen when the Sun glistens on it.

As we were painting, an elderly resident hurrying past, stopped for a chat, and she told us she remembered calling her boyfriends from the kiosk when she was a teenager. She came to the village in 1938, and remembers the kiosk being there then. This means this would have been one of the early K6 kiosks to be installed in the country as the K6 was made to commemorate the silver jubilee of King George V in 1935. A fascinating addition to the history of our kiosk.

During the course of the afternoon, we started glazing the west side. We glazed the missing four small panes, and glazed four of the large panes. A couple of the glazing frames have required a slight bit of filing where the brass pins drop in. We'll document the process of fitting the glass in the next blog entry.

All in all, an extremely satisfying day in the office. I think we'll ask for a pay rise!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Glazing Frames and posters

Today, Mrs Beynon from Brookwood School delivered a wonderful set of posters made by the young people in the school which are reproduced here. These posters are situated at the bottom of the black back board. Having the school involved in the kiosk is really good news, and we really appreciate the efforts by the teachers to assist with this project.

The final poster from our advertisers has now gone in the kiosk. Glassmaster have supplied the glass, and can now be considered as the premier supplier of glass for telephone boxes in the district!

Over the past couple of days, Alan has continued directly painting the kiosk. The dome and the crowns have now received the second and final coat of paint. This gives the paint five days to harden ready for Allsigns to complete the gilding next week. The inside frames on each side have had a single coat of paint and won't have another one as these will be covered by the glass and the glazing frames.

 Finally, the outside frames of the west side have had the second coat.

Tomorrow, both Alan and I have the day off and we will focus on sorting out the kiosk. In preparation for that, most of the glazing frames have been prepared with red oxide. The pictures here show the small glazing frames sitting on a pallet drying after a coat of red oxide, and small and large glazing frames hanging on a washing line drying after a coat of red paint.

We expect to glaze the west side completely, if we're lucky that will stop people chucking their litter in the kiosk as they walk past after getting off the train.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Outside - First Coat Complete

Not the best picture in the world, but Alan has completed the first coat of the entire outside and rather good it looks too.

This morning, as I walked to the station, the sun was shining on the third side and it just looked brilliant. I think once the second coat is complete it will look absolutely stunning.

I still can't get over just how red it is compared with the tired other kiosks that still occasionally remain.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Is that red or RED?

Yesterday, I started at half seven in the morning as I knew the weather was going to be poor and it was essential that the red oxide was completed if we were to start painting the kiosk in the final red.

The rain started about nine o'clock and I had completed the ceiling (as the photo shows), and was forced to leave the remaining areas inside the kiosk.

I also picked up all the glass from Glassmaster.

Today, and a lot of activity, starting this morning with completing the red oxide inside. The weather then turned and I abandoned in the hope that we would be able to continue this afternoon. Around half two, we were able to start applying the first coat of paint. As it makes sense to work from the top down, we initially painted the white ceiling. The rest of the inside was left as we need to give the white and the red oxide time to go off.

We then moved on to the outside and the picture here shows Alan applying the very first brush stroke of red 539 paint. This was an extremely satisfying moment which we celebrated with a pint from the Club. Our intention was to paint the roof and the top of the kiosk where the crowns are. This is to ensure that we get time to apply the second coat and it has time to harden ready for Roy from Allsigns to do the gold leaf.

Alan had the exciting job of applying the paint while I used up almost an entire roll of masking tape, taping up the windows all round. This took over an hour and I then picked up a paint brush and we carried on painting the third side and the door.

By the time we finished at half six tonight, we had completed the dome and four crowns, the door inside and out, and the outside of the third side. It is difficult to explain just how satisfying today was. Over four months of very hard work and it has finally begun to take shape. It was also quite amazing just how many people stopped and spoke with us today. I'm grateful to the local resident for a nice cup of tea when I was quite cold this morning.

Finally, I hope we are not blamed for the minor car accident which took place outside the club, I think the driver was probably looking at the 'phone box when he hit the guy in front.