Lament of the missing phone boxes

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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Geoff_N
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Lament of the missing phone boxes

Postby Geoff_N » 30 Aug 2013, 5:30pm

Because I'm such a slow cyclist I can't rely on my Android's battery lasting my longer journeys and in any case my eyes prefer to read larger maps, especially Ordnance Survey with all its helpful plottings to help navigation. I'm talking electricity transmission lines crossing the road, churches with towers, spires both or neither, and phone boxes. But a recent day return (on my bike not the train) journey from Chester to Manchester found map reading made more difficult. My blog at
http://geoffnelder.wordpress.com/2013/0 ... one-boxes/
has photo and details of why the Cheshire Cycleway is losing its way - becoming more a challenge, but then I like that!

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Si
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Re: Lament of the missing phone boxes

Postby Si » 30 Aug 2013, 5:50pm

I'm always using phone boxes to navigate by...and the fact that they are slowly going is a pain. No doubt audaxers are even more aggrieved as they lose a nice dry shelter.

DavidT
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Re: Lament of the missing phone boxes

Postby DavidT » 30 Aug 2013, 6:51pm

I posted a little while back, asking who was responsible for maintaining phone boxes, - unfortunately no one seemed able to throw any light on the subject. The reason for the question was that I regularly notice pristine, lovely looking villages marred somewhat by tired looking phone boxes badly in need of some paint. It always seems an odd contrast.

Further to that however, I more recently noticed two boxes being painted (in Orston and Alverton, for those that know the Vale of Belvoir). Sadly, and unbelievably and to my complete frustration :evil: , on both occassions I was truly up against it time wise in respect to family duties and was unable to stop to enquire of the person with a brush in his hand as to whom his sponsor was. One time I was driving, and the other I was having to TT :wink: on the bike to get home, having mis timed things. Certainly not my usual cycling effort - any other day I could have stopped for a chat and a cup of tea!

Nice to read the OP text. Good to be reminded of my days in Cheshire, and the village of Great Budworth :D .

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NUKe
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Re: Lament of the missing phone boxes

Postby NUKe » 30 Aug 2013, 7:01pm

BT are responsible for the vast majority of phone Boxes with the exception of Hull Which has its own telephone company. However a lot of phone boxes are no longer phone boxes and have been bought by the villages for community use
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661-Pete
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Re: Lament of the missing phone boxes

Postby 661-Pete » 30 Aug 2013, 7:44pm

Si wrote:I'm always using phone boxes to navigate by...and the fact that they are slowly going is a pain. No doubt audaxers are even more aggrieved as they lose a nice dry shelter.

It must be years since I last set foot in a phone box - that is sadly another sign of the hi-tech age taking over our lives. And I always try to set out on a ride with a fully-charged mobile (a basic one for me: no smartphone stuff!) - if I lose signal somewhere, well that's no worse than it was for an earlier generation who might find themselves stranded with a mechanical, and five miles from the nearest phone box....

I wouldn't care to use a phone box as a shelter, if they still have the reputation for being used for 'other purposes' that they endured in their heyday. A good sturdy well-leafed tree for me - even if it does let some of the water through!

And I wouldn't navigate by phone boxes, nor any other ephemeral landmark (even pubs marked on the OS are not dependable: pubs come and pubs go - more often 'go' alas! :( ). Actual junctions are a safer way to navigate by: after all it's only at a junction that you have to make a decision.
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

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Geoff_N
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Re: Lament of the missing phone boxes

Postby Geoff_N » 30 Aug 2013, 8:02pm

Agreed but junctions often look alike and its handy to have supporting clues from the map. In forests and on moors, real life stepped junctions are often simplified to be a simple crossroad.

I only went wrong once - a left turn I was mentally reminding myself about but I was distracted by a combine harvester and missed it - haha. Unless I'm cold or late for a rendezvous I don't mind getting a bit lost - all part of the adventure.

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Re: Lament of the missing phone boxes

Postby rualexander » 30 Aug 2013, 8:05pm

I've often wondered if, in rural areas with poor or no mobile coverage, if phoneboxes could be fitted with some kind of mini mobile transceiver allowing people to make calls if they are within a short distance of the box. There must be some piece of technology that could be installed to link between the phone and the mobile network via the telephone line in the box?

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Geoff_N
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Re: Lament of the missing phone boxes

Postby Geoff_N » 30 Aug 2013, 8:22pm

Technically, that's easy, but who would pay for it? The mobile user could use a credit card to pay for it like in some city phonebox conversions. Our quaint phone boxes are subject to weather and vandals and so there are costs in maintenance. At least the mobile service is improving and so are batteries.

byegad
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Re: Lament of the missing phone boxes

Postby byegad » 31 Aug 2013, 9:42am

With some phones you can by relatively cheap batteries, my Samsung Galaxy Mini III replacement battery was about £12. Make sure you have them both charged before you set out and run the first one flat before you swap over.
"I thought of that while riding my bike." -Albert Einstein, on the Theory of Relativity

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mrjemm
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Re: Lament of the missing phone boxes

Postby mrjemm » 1 Sep 2013, 1:03am

byegad wrote:With some phones you can by relatively cheap batteries, my Samsung Galaxy Mini III replacement battery was about £12. Make sure you have them both charged before you set out and run the first one flat before you swap over.


How's service over your way Byegad? Still many gaps over our side, including around our house; and our new cordless phone is so muffled sounding I prefer calling Madame's mobile (seems to be a thing with them; my folks' one is too).

I guess mobile phones don't smell of pee or puke either...

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Mick F
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Re: Lament of the missing phone boxes

Postby Mick F » 1 Sep 2013, 7:03am

661-Pete wrote:I wouldn't care to use a phone box as a shelter .............
Right at the top of Rest and be Thankful on the road west out of Arrochar, there used to be a double phone box so walkers could shelter. It had a single phone in there and the two boxes were joined to make a bigger space.

It's still shown on the OS maps, but they are out of date as you can plainly see from Google StreetView. :oops:
https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=arroch ... 8,,0,-0.85
Screen shot 2013-09-01 at 07.00.08.png
Mick F. Cornwall

TonyR
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Re: Lament of the missing phone boxes

Postby TonyR » 1 Sep 2013, 8:00am

Mini libraries seem to be a popular conversion. Here's one in the village of Littlebury Green near Cambridge.
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rualexander
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Re: Lament of the missing phone boxes

Postby rualexander » 1 Sep 2013, 8:44am

NUKe wrote:BT are responsible for the vast majority of phone Boxes with the exception of Hull Which has its own telephone company. However a lot of phone boxes are no longer phone boxes and have been bought by the villages for community use

Some are being used to house community defibrillators http://www.communityheartbeat.org.uk/ad ... onebox.php

Jon Lucas
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Re: Lament of the missing phone boxes

Postby Jon Lucas » 1 Sep 2013, 10:07am

Old phone boxes are being put to lots of innovative uses, which is great to see, but does mean there's often little room left to shelter in. :(

I mentioned in another thread some time ago that when I cycled round the remoter part of the N.W. Highland coast, I often used to leave my panniers in a phone box to cycle down a steep dead-end hill to the coast and then back again, to save myself a bit of energy on the return climb. The Stoer peninsula I seem to remember had quite a few handily placed at the end of various dead-ends, and a few others came in useful. I never left them for more than about 15 minutes, and the panniers were always still there when I returned.

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661-Pete
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Re: Lament of the missing phone boxes

Postby 661-Pete » 1 Sep 2013, 5:56pm

Jon Lucas wrote:Old phone boxes are being put to lots of innovative uses, which is great to see....

Indeed they are:
Image
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).