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Is this the death of the phone box?

There’s graffiti sprayed all over it. It smells of something unpleasant. It takes courage to put the handset to the ear. Repeated attempts to make a call prove fruitless. And unlike the super-duper city-centre phone boxes, this one has no e-mail, SMS or text facility. Neither does it have a door.

Like 222 other BT public phone boxes in Scotland, no calls at all have been made in the past year from this forlorn-looking kiosk at Millbrae Road, Chryston, situated beside the A80 trunk road between Glasgow and Stirling, despite the fact that’s in the middle of a pleasant neighbourhood of quarter villas and sits between two schools.

As a result of its lack of use, the phone box is under threat of removal by BT, which says it is uneconomic to keep on paying more than £1000 each year to maintain it because it brings in zero financial return.

But would it be missed? Not, it seems, by local residents.

Podiatrist Lesley Brady, 30, agrees that the phone box, which backs on to her garden, is nothing but a nuisance. “Gangs hang around it at night because it’s lit up,” she says. “They urinate in my garden and leave empty Buckfast bottles and used condoms around. I’ve seen them vomiting in the phone box. When my young baby starts to walk, I’m going to have to build a fence to protect her from it. It’s disgusting. It’s also been vandalised quite a lot. The cash drawer and the money slot have been filled with silicone glue. It’s a shame for people who need it, but I’d be glad to see the back of it.”

• Full story at the Herald.

Buckfast Tonic Wine is made by the Roman Catholic Community of Benedictine monks at Buckfast Abbey in Devon, and sold by J. Chandler & Co (Buckfast) Ltd of Andover. Thanks, guys.

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