Read what our independent columnist Observer says about the town council buying a red phone box for a £1.
Bobbies on the beat . . . red phone boxes . . . steam trains – they are all symbols of Britain from another century.
Steam trains have been preserved, many people would like to see bobbies on the beat preserved, and then, there’s the iconic red phone box.
In fact, there’s Uckfield’s iconic red phone box which the town council is going to buy for £1 and hopes to move to a central location near the old post office.
Youngsters who walk around with their eyes glued to a mobile phone will be amazed that going out to the red phone box was the way most people once made phone calls, or even received them.
Did you ever stand outside the kiosk waiting for a call at a specific time from a loved one, only to see someone pop in just as the hour approached?
Having made the decision to take on the phone box, the council is asking for suggestions as what to do with it.
Some people have suggested a defibrillator, but the town centre is well covered with one located at the entrance to the railway station and another outside the public library.
Those two cover the whole length of the High Street from Framfield Road up to the businesses beyond Church Street.
When writing some months ago about Bridge Cottage, I suggested the restored building could prove to be a catalyst to bring people into the town, who will then use the shops, restaurants and cafes and boost the local economy.
Of course, people are not going to come to see a red phone box but it would be a perfect place for mini-tourist information centre (TIC).
Clearly, there are commercial tourism venues in the Uckfield area but for this to work well, it would need be a very local TIC, along with the commercial stuff.
- Have a map of the High Street and surrounding areas roads, detailing all the historic buildings. There are far more than most people know;
- Have maps of walks around the town and surrounds, with points of historic interest along the way;
- Show people where the town’s community gardens are.
The more there is for people to discover and explore in Uckfield, the longer they will stay and the more they are likely to spend.
I am sure greater minds than mine could come up with many more ideas to make this red phone box a brilliant TIC for Uckfield.
As for the information needed, most of it is all available.
The town council needs to lead in the production of the leaflets and talk to the Uckfield and District Preservation Society about the content.
No hope that new pavements will survive
The abuse by drivers of the new pavements has started.
As well as a parking free-for-all on the new High Street, with no enforcement of the time limits as yet announced, pavement parking will become prevalent.
What hope is there when a truck used by a contractor for one of the partners in the project parks fully on the new pavement?
Wealden District Council needs to have a word with Kier.
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