British Telephone Booths Get a New Look

© BT ArtBox

It's a shame about those great old British telephone boxes. They used to be an iconic symbol of Britishness and now they are just places to post sex shop ads--or worse.

© IanVisits

Having removed them all, BT, the telephone company, is now "celebrating" their loss by having artists paint them for a charity event: ChildLine’s 25th anniversary. Some 80 artists have decorated plastic replicas and they will be placed around town and sold, much like those cows and moose that invaded Canadian cities a few years ago.

© BT ArtBox

But they are cute. Artists, including such notables as Sir Peter Blake, Zaha Hadid, Zandra Rhodes and a host of innovative lesser-knowns, have taken brush to hand. Each artist is customising a full-sized, fibreglass replica of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott's original K6 telephone kiosk, which was introduced in 1936 to commemorate King George V's Silver Jubilee.

Big Ben has a special message: the times on the clocks read 08:00 and 11:11, representing ChildLine's telephone number 0800 1111.

© BT ArtBox

Dial M for Monster is a knitted, crocheted and hand sewn creature created from around 100 balls of yarn. It was made by a TreeHugger favourite, Deadly Knitshade.

Rebecca Campbell/CC BY 2.0

This artist imagines a world "filled with plants and animals, they happily play in their confined environments."

© BT ArtBox

This one is based on a poem: This sweet scent of memory, green hills and pleasant seems the cool dew in distant dreams of birdsong, nostalgia bathes the scene, And my heart belongs to thee.

© IanVisits

You can't beat that pigeon, poised on top of the booth.

Tags: London | Recycled Consumer Goods | Technology