Lonely Planet Writer

This converted British telephone booth could possibly be the world’s smallest museum

A disused old red telephone box in Warley, West Yorkshire, has been transformed into what might be the world’s smallest museum.

A disused red telephone boot in Warley, West Yorkshire, has been converted into what may be they world's smallest museum. Image: Warley Community Association
A disused red telephone boot in Warley, West Yorkshire, has been converted into what may be the world’s smallest museum. Image: Warley Community Association

Members of Warley Community Association, highly skilled local artists and historians have worked together for the past year to renovate and transform the redundant British telephone box into a showcase of local history. They filled it with local historical artefacts, including old photographs, glass etchings and personal items such as antique fashion pieces and jewellery. With the growth of mobile phone usage, phone booths across the UK have little or no role to play any more, so telecoms company BT came up with an Adopt a Kiosk scheme for communities.

A village phone box in Michaelstone-le-Pit, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, being put to good use as the village library. Image: Daniel R Jones/Getty Images
A village phone box in Michaelstone-le-Pit, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, being put to good use as the village library. Image: Daniel R Jones/Getty Images

This scheme has, so far, seen more than 3500 communities across the UK adopting the redundant phone boxes in their area for £1, and seizing the opportunity to do something special with them.

Some of the uses for disused BT phone boxes include mini coffee shops and food stands. Image: Red Box Coffee
Some of the uses for disused BT phone boxes include mini coffee shops and food stands. Image: Red Box Coffee

Various local authorities have applied to transform kiosks into cafés, mini-shops, libraries and shoe-shine stands. In Cheltenham, ten red phone boxes have been transformed into miniature art galleries, showcasing the work of local artists, while The Community Heartbeat Trust has installed defibrillators in phone boxes across the country.

Spier's Salads sells hearty food from the phone box in Bloomsbury Square, London. Image: Spier's Salads
Spier’s Salads sells hearty food from the phone box in Bloomsbury Square, London. Image: Spier’s Salads

The Warley phone booth is the one and only conversion of a BT telephone box to a museum in the UK so far, and an application has been made for it to be entered into the Guinness World Records.