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Historic phone box set to become Stortford lifeline



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Bishops Stortford general views. Phone box at top of steps down to Devoils Lane. Pic: Vikki Lince
Bishops Stortford general views. Phone box at top of steps down to Devoils Lane. Pic: Vikki Lince

A redundant telephone box in the heart of Bishop's Stortford is set to become a potential lifeline for residents.

Bishops Stortford general views. Phone box at top of steps down to Devoils Lane. Pic: Vikki Lince
Bishops Stortford general views. Phone box at top of steps down to Devoils Lane. Pic: Vikki Lince

The town council has decided to adopt the iconic K6 kiosk in Potter Street, at the top of the steps to Devoils Lane, and convert it into a home for a community defibrillator.

The estimated £3,850 cost of the project has been slashed by the donation of the equipment by SADS UK, a charity to prevent loss of life from sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS) and highlight cardiac risk in the young through to middle age.

A defibrillator gives a high energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall to someone who is in cardiac arrest. This condition strikes around 140,000 times a year in the UK – equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing every day! Clinical studies suggest there are less than five minutes from the event to save a life and this outcome decreases by up to 23 per cent per minute.

The town council’s chief executive James Parker said the authority’s own maintenance team planned to restore and revamp the red box. The annual running cost is estimated to be £595. He confirmed to members of the environment and public amenities committee that the council’s interest had been registered with BT.

The K6 was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the coronation of King George V in 1935 and some 60,000 examples were installed across Britain. It is constructed of cast-iron sections, bolted together.

Once decommissioned for calls, the box which has previously been the target of vandals and late night drunks will remain unlocked, but the defibrillator cabinet will be accessed via a keypad.



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