New phone box use gives food for thought

A PHONE BOX earmarked for removal has been turned into a vital source of food in the form of a community larder.

The red box in Carrbrook village has been the centre of plans to adopt it and maybe even move it after British Telecom said they wanted to get rid of it.

Now the landmark near the Buckton Vale Institute at the junction of Buckton Vale Road and Long Row is being used as a place where people can pick up supplies left by others.

The Carrbrook Honesty Foodbank and Community Larder was the idea of several people who believe it could pave a future for the phone box.

It has seen things like jams, olives, granola and Horlicks left there while nappies, books and even computer games have been donated. Sanitary products are also welcome.

Local gardener Steve Barton, who is pictured wearing a face mask, has been helping to keep the phone box stocked as part of volunteer work he has been doing.

Organisers are keen for all food to be in non-perishable containers, with a note inside saying: “Items MUST be unopened and within their BEST BEFORE and/or USE BY date. No food items that require a fridge or freezer please.

“DO NOT leave toys, bric-a-brac, cloth, or any other items not included above. Leaving the box untidy will result in the box being closed down permanently.”

Signs have now been placed on its windows telling people what can be left.

The Correspondent told how Carrbrook resident Terry Drabble wanted to adopt the phone box and move it to the Carrbrook Community Hub. We also put him in touch with the Carrbrook Conservation Committee.

Using phone boxes as larders is proving popular in Scotland, with one such conversion being done in Beauly, near Inverness.

Shelves were fitted into the box by members of Beauly Men’s Shed and local businesses agreed to support it.

Community council chairman Roy Harrison said: “Beauly Cares are doing a magnificent job in the local area looking after older people, but we felt there was also a need to provide some support for those who are struggling financially, particularly families and young people.

“This is an area that relies heavily on tourism and the pandemic will hit hard.”

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