The Cattistock Phone Box
The Cattistock Red Telephone Box Restoration.
The Fete Committee purchased this from Ann at Four Gates in West End Lane where it had stood for many years It is I believe the original phone box from the village that was outside Corner Cottage in the square, Rupert Cake used to live there and remembers it well. (Thank you, John Willows, for the photo)
At some point in the nineties BT decided to upgrade to a new modern phone box and at a request to move it somewhere more central and not outside a living room window. The chosen site was outside the Fox and Hounds. The aim of the restoration of the red kiosk is to house the defibrillator and place the kiosk on this site
The phone box is a model K6 which was designed by Sir Gilbert Giles Scott and this model stems from 1935 Jubilee Kiosk for King George V silver jubilee. Our model is a pre–1955 and we know this due to the crowns on the kiosk as our example is displaying the “Tudor Crown “from George the V.
The telephone Kiosk has been stored at Simon Goodall’s barn and work commenced several weeks ago on assessing the cost and level of restoration
You can see by the pictures that it was in a sad state of repair. On consultation with the Fete Committee they allocated funds to restore the kiosk to house the defibrillator. So, the task began to make it watertight and presentable to the village. It would still retain some patina not looking pristine but would sit proudly in the village.
Funds from the Fete secured new window frames and paint. As with everything in life it is all about the preparation and I can tell that over 70 years of repeated painting has been made it tough going.
The windows that need replacing are all out and the frames cleaned out of extremely rock-hard putty. In an ideal world we would have sand blasted it, but funds would not allow that, and it would have to be completely taken apart.
Many hours of rubbing down and we are now 75% there and hope in the next two weeks to be ready for painting of 2 pink undercoats and of course 2 lovely coats of Post Office Red. Then, with new toughened glass windows and a few other sundries, we hope to have it in place by Christmas
We discovered that the phone kiosk was probably produced in 1949 and made by the Carron Company Stirlingshire. It has had several upgrades during its life in particular the security of the window frames as locals used to steal the glass for “Cold Frames”. Along with light bulbs?
The door is now off and surprisingly its Teak and Metal Frame is in good condition, which Phil Evans is repairing skilfully. The other helpers include Ian Hobday, Simon Goodall and I’m sure helpers will be on hand for the painting party, subject to Covid
I look forward to seeing it in its new home and enhancing the village
Cattistock phone box restoration part 2
It was all going so well when lockdown scuppered the plans for a painting party.
The K6 box was ready for painting but covid caused a delay on the start of the primer undercoat. Severe rain and northerly winds penetrated the barn, which in turn rusted the exposed metal.
Onwards and upwards – now with a coat of rust inhibitor on the whole box, you can see by the pictures that when applied to rust it goes blue/black. With that task complete and a light sand and degrease it was finally ready for the first coat.
Two coats of fresh undercoat and I think it looks very fetching in pink. You will have noticed that we have not cut in to all the windows yet. With the five coats applied, it will be 384 cutting in for small windows and 200 for the large. Not a job I am relishing but I have help from Ian Hobday who has been helping in the most covid safe of environments.
I hope if the weather allows and temperatures stay about 10℃ that we may have it installed for the Carol service.
May the weather gods prevail
Cattistock phone box restoration part 3
The weather has not been too kind in the last few weeks in particular the cold snap and the ability to paint in these temperatures.
I would have hoped to have the completed box ready for Christmas Eve. Sadly, I realise that this is not going to happen in time. The electricity supply needs to be sorted and safe at the site and hopefully we will make use of it for lighting in the phone box. You will see on the pictures the large hole we have drilled in the floor to accommodate the electrics.
Many of you may have noticed that the modern phone box by the pub has been 80% removed for the transition of our new shiny red box, I have also managed to find a replica K6 Jubilee lamp holder that is period of the 1940/50
Painting wise it is just one coat of red left for the exterior and one white coat for the inner roof
Glass and glazing is the next adventure with new toughened glass to install and make watertight and the large heavy door to reinstall
I will keep you posted on the grand unveiling
Cattistock phone restoration part 4.
The beast from the east and very cold temperatures did delay the final push to get the beautiful K6 original village phone box back to a prominent proud position in the village.
Now its here and a few minor jobs to complete before the defibrillator has a new home.
I had a count of roughly how many hours were spent by all the helpers, I would say more than 140 hours of initial knuckle scrapping graft to get the 70 years of paint removed to a good surface to repaint and restore
Here is some trivia some of what we did
99 glass panels to either refurbish or replace with toughened glass
2.5 five litres of pink primer followed by 2.5 litres of glorious deep post office red
Gold paint for the crowns expertly applied with the steady hand of Ian Hobday
Black plinth and a white ceiling
One angle grinder burnt out
30 meters of sandpaper
10 Litres white spirit
3 tubes of glazing silicone
10 paint brushes
5 band aids
Of course, none of this would have been possible without the generous funding from the Cattistock fete committee. I am grateful to Wayne Briggs and Peter Hunt.
So how much did it cost? With the initial purchase of the kiosk and all the reglazing, paint, and sundries the total spent was £1300.
Lastly, I could not have completed this project on my own. I had some great help from Ian Hobday and specialist help from Phil Evans on repairing the door. Simon Goodall for allowing to use his barn and offering expert advice of “You’ve missed a bit”
I hope the village and visitors enjoy this iconic piece of history sitting proudly outside the village pub