How a village in Fife used a £ 1 phone booth to keep the community spirit alive during the lockdown

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Residents of a small village in Fife have created the smallest community center in the area – in an old red phone booth.

The villagers of Blebo Craigs bought the box from BT for just £ 1 and then transformed it in an effort to maintain the community spirit during the lockdown.

Derek, Vanessa, Christine, Lesley and Chris love the Blebo Craigs phone booth.

And it’s proven to be so popular that it’s still used as a hub for locals, even as Covid restrictions have eased.

Art exhibitions, a book sale and a flower show are among the events held at the iconic box designed by Gilbert Scott over the past year.

Christmas decorations, Easter bunnies and balloons to celebrate a sixth birthday also filled the space.

Blebo Craigs phone booth
A phone booth book sale proved popular.
Much like a seed exchange event.

Lesley Connell, president of Blebo Craigs town hall, said the community loved the idea.

“The Blebo Craigs phone booth has effectively become our party room,” she said.

“We bought it from BT early last year for £ 1.

“We asked the community council if they wanted it, but it made more sense for us to take it on. “

From face masks to bread making

After some repairs and a paint job, the village town hall committee decided that the box should become a focal point while the hall was closed.

And one of the first things they did was make face masks to sell to villagers from the phone booth.

“We’ve had a lot, a lot of different things,” Lesley said.

“One of our locals Chris Reekie is taking some great pictures so we had Blebo birds, Blebo flowers and right now it’s Blebo Gardens.

Photos of Chris Reekie’s Blebo Gardens fill the phone booth.

“We had decorations for Christmas and someone filled it with streamers and balloons for a little girl’s birthday.”

A phone booth book sale raised £ 100 for the upkeep of the room and, more unusually, a local made a batch of sourdough bread for sale.

“We have an annual craft fair in the lobby, but we obviously couldn’t do it this year, so we took over the phone booth for a week,” Lesley said.

The phone booth even sold groceries.

“We also did some tartan art – we used to have a lot of tartan curtains in the lobby, so I cut them up and 20 people pulled a piece out.

“At our flower and produce fair in September, we will be having a contest to see who made the best tartan.”

Most of the decorating ideas came from members of the village town hall committee Vanessa Colquhoun and Christine Hulbert.

An autumn theme.

“We have an honesty fund and most of the money raised goes to the venue,” Lesley added.

“We couldn’t do much in the venue last year due to the restrictions.

“But the phone booth was fun and people really took to it.

“It really kept us going. “

Fife’s smallest art gallery fits into an old phone booth near St Andrews


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