History of Gautby’s ”Heritage” Kiosk
Did you know?
Gautby’s telephone Kiosk is a K6 designed by the world-renowned British architect, George Gilbert Scott, in 1935 and introduced in the UK in 1936. It was 20 years later, in July 1956, that Gautby’s K6 was installed, where it was operational as a telephone box until 2009. From over 60,000 installed in the UK, there are now around 10,000 – many of them no longer phone boxes, with some as mini libraries, tourist information kiosks etc.
In 2008, following the proposal by Cllr J. Heselwood, the Parish Council put in a bid to Heritage Lottery for funding for a local Heritage project, as part of the Limewoods Local Heritage initiative, and was awarded £25,000. The project would take 2 years to complete and there were various parts to it: the Parish Council committed to provide a local history book free of charge to each household – “Glimpses and Gleanings from Minting and Gautby”, several research projects and two interpretation points – one in each village.
The plinth overlooking Priory Field in Minting displaying the results of the earthwork survey with Minting Heritage Trail map was chosen for Minting’s interpretation point.
In 2009, which was halfway through the project, despite objections from the Parish Council, BT decided that the telephone box in Gautby (in common with many other rural phone boxes) was no longer needed and offered councils all over the country the opportunity to purchase their phone boxes for £1 with certain provisos.
The Heritage Working Party of the Parish Council had been considering creating a history timeline and leapt at the opportunity to purchase the K6, as it was decided it would be the perfect interpretation point for Gautby: it would require no new infrastructure, was a way of retaining the historic street furniture and streetscape of Gautby and would meet the Council’s obligations to the Heritage Lottery Bid. As part of the bid funding, the Kiosk was refurbished and every window was engraved with a significant event in Gautby’s history. It was renamed a Heritage Kiosk.
From the Heritage Working Party, the Parish Council helped set up the Minting and Gautby Heritage Society and there were plans to add extra information into the kiosk after the end of the project but this was put on hold until members were ready to start work again.
In addition, it is also a site for Geocachers and nearly 50 people have visited for this purpose and many described in their online Geocache logs how nice it is to read about local history.itGautby’s beautiful Heritage Kiosk costs the Parish Council less than £40 a year for electricity and is the only street light in Gautby. It needs to be repainted every 8-10 years to stay looking beautiful using BT-approved paint. It’s a wonderful local landmark, part of our history we should be proud of and we should continue to maintain it.