Painting the town red


It’s amazing what you come across when wandering around Rye. As a journalist there is no shortage of material to write about, so much history, so many interesting buildings and around every corner it seems there is something interesting.

I was with our latest Rye News recruit on Tuesday morning looking for photo opportunities and it was indeed our lucky day! The sun was just in the right position, there were blue skies and no shadow, and at the bottom of Mermaid Street we spied our photo opportunity, one not to be missed.

There are two red phone boxes in Rye, now both redundant and both recently acquired by Rye Town Council. Let’s face it, who doesn’t have a soft spot for an old red BT phone box? Remember the A and B buttons they used to have, and that unique aroma of the phone book and yellow pages which used to sit on the metal shelf?

Sadly, most are now not in use as phone boxes but many have been preserved for posterity. Some as free to use community libraries, others have as a home for defibrillator stations and others as pop up information points.

Thankfully, Rye Town Council, on hearing that the two phone boxes were “up for grabs” moved quickly to secure an important part of our local and national heritage and have commenced a programme of complete refurbishment to bring them both back to life.

We saw senior assistant town steward, Steve Lipross (pictured) hard at work painstakingly painting the phone box at the base of Mermaid Street in the distinctive red, a labour of love and when this is finished, the other box at the base of Conduit Hill will get the same treatment.

What will they become? The jury is out on this at the moment but it’s great to see that two important and iconic landmarks will be restored and preserved to be appreciated by generations to come. Congratulations to Rye Town Council for taking the initiative.

Image Credits: Nick Forman .

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  1. The iconic red telephone box in Iden has been a feature of the village for many years and when threatened by BT with its removal, the Parish Council obtained a Grade 2 historic buildings listing with English Heritage
    Part of the description says “The K6 telephone kiosk in Iden, situated in a conservation area, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reason:
    This telephone kiosk has a strong visual relationship with three listed buildings collectively, two of which it stands before frontally. It therefore merits listing


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