phone box library – saved from closure by public opinion – is now a popular
feature on South Bar.
phone box, outside St John’s RC Church, attracted national publicity when a
local resident installed shelves and books. The idea was that passers-by would
borrow the books and return them – and add new books to the collection.
mini-library closed within weeks when BT was compelled to order the removal of
the books on health and safety grounds after a phone box user complained.
Banbury Town Council joined members of the public in protesting at the closure
and the campaign reached national newspapers and TV.
library was rescued after the council and BT came to a unique agreement.
BT offered a second red kiosk to stand next to the existing box – and the
council agreed to install it and maintain it. Banbury company Hawkins
Steel volunteered to fit the new box with safe shelving and the kiosk was
delivered to the firm’s premises in Thorpe Way in June for work to begin.
after a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by representatives of the council,
Hawkins Steel, BT and members of the public, the phone box library is open for
business. Leader of Banbury Town Council Kieron Mallon said: “This is the
perfect ending to a long-running saga. It is a positive outcome when all seemed
lost. I’d like to thank everyone concerned for their efforts. It is a job well