New chapter in life of phone boxes donated to Cleethorpes’ twin town

New chapter in life of phone boxes donated to Cleethorpes' twin town

New chapter in life of phone boxes donated to Cleethorpes’ twin town

Traces of Cleethorpes are scattered throughout a German town in the form of ‘phone box libraries’.

North East Lincolnshire phone boxes that were donated to the resort’s twin town Königswinter many years ago have been transformed into mini libraries.

Since the 1980s, people in Königswinter have been able to make their phone calls in original British red phone boxes thanks to the donation.

But with the ever-increasing use of mobile phones, the number of calls made from public phone boxes plummeted, but for Königswinter this was no reason to remove them and instead it found another use for them – a more literary one.

The town converted them into tiny libraries and everybody is now invited to take a book from the shelves of these public bookcases, or to leave one.

The big advantages to these special libraries is that they are robust and weatherproof, open 365 days a year, 24-hours a day, and they have no fees or due dates.

The first of the phone boxes to be transformed stands in the market place of the old town of Königswinter within view of the Rhine and is popular with locals and tourists as a photo opportunity.

Rauschendorf, one of the many villages that belong to Königswinter, then followed suit and turned its red phone box into a bookcase too. However, the phone box in Ittenbach had been misused and had to be restored, meaning villagers had to wait until August this year to open their own micro library.

All the red phone box libraries are looked after by local volunteers.

Königswinter’s Mayor Peter Wirtz said: “These three red beacons will always be a sign of friendship between Cleethorpes and Königswinter.”

Mayor of North East Lincolnshire Terry Walker said: “This is a brilliant idea and I’m thrilled that a little bit of North East Lincolnshire sits in the town of Königswinter.

“It’s great that these phone boxes have been put to such good use for everyone to enjoy and get lost in a book.”

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