The red telephone box is a British icon that is slowly disappearing – apart from tourist areas in cities and towns. Designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the telephone boxes were red so they stood out.
I am not sure whether the characteristic red call boxes are no still being made, but they still linger in the public’s memory, and are photographed by tourists. Having a mobile phone myself, I enjoy the convenience of being able to phone, text and surf the net on the go and not be restricted to a stationary box. However, before I had a mobile phone, I have used the red call box when I was out.
With the proliferation of mobile phones, the decline of the public call box was inevitable as having so many became too expensive to maintain.
Part of me is sad to see fewer of them. I like their distinctive, if not functional, architecture. They provided a public service that has now been left behind in the mobile revolution.
But an icon is often an icon when it becomes, and is incorporated, into art. It has become part of the community’s shared experience and identity.