The Cattistock Phone Box

The Phone Box, as stored, ready for its renovation
Another view of the worn state of the paintwork and glazing
Commencing the removal of the glazing

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

Terry White

The removed window panes
Familiar to some, the inside of the Phone Box, less the coin machine with its A and B buttons
Ian removing the telephone directory shelf
The Phone Box with the backboard removed, showing the electrical intake
Preparing to remove the electrical intake
And with the electrical intake removed
A close up of the glazing and rock-hard putty
The ceiling of the Phone Box
Terry, masked up as he strips paint off the roof
The name of the Casting Company that produced the K6 shell
The K6's casting number, suggesting a 1949 production year
The Cattistock Phone Box when in use, complete with red Ford Escort

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



Work well underway, stripping the panels back to bare wood
The effects of the rust remover showing blue: black where treated
The initial coat of pink undercoat being applied
A detail photo of the top of the Phone Box after two layers of undercoat
And inside, the ceiling is also primed, ready for the next coat
A detail photo of the window panes and the work to come
A lot of hard work and the box is nearing glazing and final paint
Ian prepares the iconic red paint for the first coat

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

Regards, Terry

The base of the box, prepared to take the electrical feed
The door frame after its first coat of paint
The door closer also has to be overhauled and painted
Everything needs to be made ready, including the ceiling and the light fitting
The main phone box, including a customised sign at the top
Terry and Simon demolishing the old telephone box

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

Regards, Terry

Ian preparing the telephone box for the lift to its new home
And the crane takes the strain
Richard succeeds in manouvering the telephone box onto the back of his recovery lorry
Some advertising for all the excellent help provided by Richard
Richard taking great care of the phone box on its short journey
The escort into the village, with Ian leading at point
Terry and Simon help ease the box towards its base, next to the Fox & Hounds
Terry, James, Simon and Ian carefully manoeuvre the telephone box over the electrical feed
Ian and Terry, the main men behind the project to install the renovated telephone box in its new site
The Defibrillator, fully installed in its new location
Easy access to the Defibrillator
Well protected and highly visible