The future of Richmond’s surviving red telephone kiosks

K6 telephone box at St MatthiasMany months down the line and after repeated requests, details are still awaited from the Council of its scheme for the adoption of redundant, former BT, K.6-type telephone kiosks in the Town and potential funding for their repair and restoration.

Some thirty years ago, at the time that BT was proposing the removal of the long-familiar red kiosks from cities, towns and villages across the country and their replacement with inferior models, the Richmond Society was directly involved in securing the listing of four of the then almost forty Giles Gilbert-Scott designed kiosks in the Town and their restoration – such as the two outside The Prince’s Head on The Green.

Years later, the few surviving kiosks are once again threatened – this time with redundancy and disuse.

Whilst the recent successful restoration of the two kiosks on The Green is to be welcomed, the future of others, such as the listed kiosks in The Vineyard and on Richmond Bridge and the unlisted kiosk at the head of Albany Passage near the top of King’s Road, for which the Council rightly but unsuccessfully sought listing remains unclear. The Council’s acquisition of these kiosks from BT is a welcome first step. However, adoption by one of more groups in the local community and their potential conversion for other appropriate purposes, together with their restoration and future maintenance have yet to be pursued.

The Society’s Executive Committee has agreed to support the Council in seeking to persuade Historic England to review its decision to reject the listing of the kiosk outside St Matthias’ Church and looks forward to hearing from members interested in the potential adoption and re-use of this and the listed kiosk in the Vineyard.