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Iconic British phone booths get a new lease on life

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MARY REICHARD, HOST: Those red phone booths in Britain are an iconic sight and have been for nearly a hundred years.

But with mobile phones taking over land line phones, regulators have ordered removal of nearly half of those cheery little booths.

Still, the boxes have a champion within the U.K.’s telecommunications agency. It wants the remaining booths to stay put. Turns out those phones are a lifeline for people in need; 150,000 emergency calls made from them just last year. And thousands more calls made on behalf of child safety and suicide prevention.

Other unused call boxes have been repurposed as storage units for public defibrillators, mini community libraries—even art galleries!

BROWN: The creative spirit!

REICHARD: It’s The World and Everything in It.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.


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