I promised in a previous blog post that I would share a few project ideas and here’s the first. While many will be more general and applicable to anywhere in the UK, this particular one is specific to Chippenham. Indeed, it’s specific to this phone box on the corner of Malmesbury Road and Wedmore Avenue.
This phone box is one that is very familiar to me. Jon and I used to rent the house opposite and my office window overlooked it. It hasn’t changed much in the 5+ years since we moved, and that is something I would love to see changed. So many communities are breathing life back into their old telephone boxes by converting them into lending libraries, defibrillator storage, or vertical gardens. Why can’t Chippenham do the same?
This one would probably be more suitable as a flower garden, perhaps as an annex of John Coles Park or the Hardenhuish Allotment? Or what about a community herb garden, where nearby residents and passers-by can cut the herbs they need?
I have a suspicion that the answer that would be given for why nothing has been done is “It will just be vandalised.” Which is indeed a possibility. But doesn’t it seem silly to refrain from doing something positive because of the fear that something negative might happen? If it’s possible to imagine the worst-case scenarios, it is also possible to imagine how best to mitigate them.
So, to any local groups looking to adopt a project that will make Chippenham look a little bit better—this seems like a great place to start.
UPDATE (February 2020):
Many thanks to the person or persons who has turned this dilapidated phone box into a garden!
UPDATE (MAY 2020):
Rainbows and thanks to the NHS decorate the phone box now, and John Coles Park itself is displaying Rag and Bone’s public art exhibit; it’s great to see that creativity isn’t locked down!