The famous and iconic red phone boxes designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott are in decline. They are dinosaurs in this modern age of mobile phones and ipads. How many of them have been removed and scrapped? Imaginative use can however make them a unique community asset from scuptures, such as “Out of Order” by David Mach in Kingston, London to libraries as in Felstead in Essex, pubs and refreshment stops as in one near Cambridge which was a pub for a night, and the latest project which is an art and community project in Portobello near Edinburgh. . The “Porty Light Box” has been adopted by the Portobello Community Council with a plan to create a large light box in which to display images by local artists, schoolchildren or other groups. Ultimately, they hope to raise funds to allow for a digital display system which will allow interactive participation with the local community. Other ideas, once the Porty Light Box has been established, that have been suggested include Punch and Judy shows in the summer, selling ice cream, and turning the inside into a 1950′s sitting room with local memories played back through speakers.
An art project at an entirely different scale to the one proposed for the East End of London, but it is a valuable and imaginative one, which deserves to succeed.