Final Call: phonebox conferencing and mapping obsolescence

Public Archaeology 2015

Mill-Ireland

Tourists love them. Folk over 35 probably have fond memories of using them. In an emergency one could just save your life. But when did you last call to or from a red phonebox? Let’s face it they are pretty much obsolete for communication.

So for Map Orkney Month I set off on my bike around West Mainland – loaded up with 20p coins and a notebook – to see what remains of these once-essential communication portals. Several are marked on the OS map. Are any still be there? Do any still work?

Birsay-glass

I didn’t just want to find them, but invite the world to call them, thanks to my nonsense notion of Phonebox Conferencing.

What’s a phonebox conference? A chance to share stories, ideas, experiences with random people around the world – via the intermediary of one person armed with a pencil, answering a phonebox if and when it…

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