Time to ring off from payphone?

Jill Buchanan
Jill Buchanan

Did you throw up your hands in horror and think ‘that’s terrible’ when you heard that BT wanted to remove over half the district’s telephone boxes?

I did. Then I took time to ask myself when I last used a public payphone.

And I couldn’t remember.

I didn’t even know how much it cost to make a call from a payphone.

Apparently the minimum charge is 60p, but before you start to complain, apparently for that you get 30 minutes of local calls.

The problem is the advent of the mobile phone has given us all instant access to people from a device we can tuck in our handbag or back pocket.

We don’t have to stand in a queue to wait our turn to use the phone – now who can remember having to do that in the pouring rain? Or have a mountain of small change to call long distance.

No, it’s all so easy nowadays.

Until your battery runs flat or you can’t get a signal, both of which normally occur at the most inopportune moments.

Many people don’t even bother with a landline in their homes nowadays, relying solely on a mobile phone.

But there is something about red cast-iron phone boxes which are part of our heritage. Located on the street corner, they have become a tradition that we always expect to be there.

I remember seeing one that even had a vase of flowers in it and was lovingly cared for by locals.

However, it’s like so many of the things that we take for granted nowadays, we have to be prepared to use it or lose it.