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Iconic phone box saved

Paul Lemaire with the phone box in Foxdale that is to be moved to the Foxdale Heritage Centre in the former railway station

Paul Lemaire with the phone box in Foxdale that is to be moved to the Foxdale Heritage Centre in the former railway station

Foxdale’s phone box has been saved and will be installed at the village heritage centre in the old railway station.

Manx Telecom intended to remove the unprofitable phone box, along with a number of others around the island, as it was used so infrequently.

Foxdale resident Paul Lemaire, a member of Foxdale Heritage Group, who were behind the move to save the phone box, said: ‘It was [former MHK] Walter Gilbey who brought up the idea at one of our meetings.

‘Then Stuart Lambie said that Manx Telecom were planning to move the box in a week so I thought I’d get a photo taken of where it used to be before they took it away.

‘But now they’re going to let us move it to our heritage centre.

Paul explained some of the history attached to the phone box.

‘It’s the original phone box which used to be outside the old Foxdale Stores, which was also the Miners’ Co-op building,’ he said.

‘As children attending the village school we used to be taken by the teacher and shown how to use the telephone.

‘In those days there used to be an “A” button and a “B” button. When you put your coins in the “A” slot, if you couldn’t make contact, you could press button “B2” and get your money back.

‘It was the only public phone box in the area.’

Paul says that the telephone box was moved across the road in the late 1950s due to the old Foxdale Stores being sold and developed into two properties.

‘The Isle of Man Post Office took possession of the shop across the road and it was used as the village post office.

‘It has been decommissioned now.

‘The phone box is a part of Foxdale so it’s great we’ll get to keep it.’

 

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