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Old red telephone box near Amberley converted into tourist information kiosk
Is this the country’s smallest tourist information point?
This former BT telephone kiosk was installed decades ago in North Stoke, a hamlet nestling in the South Downs not far from Amberley.
For years it remained unused, swallowed up by the overgrown shrubbery that surrounded it.
That was until the Wiggonholt Association decided to save it from deteriorating further and purchased the pillar box for a nominal £1, in the hope it could be put to good use.
It has now undergone months of restoration work and now displays a large-scale map of the area with details of local places of interest and local amenities. It would also dispense leaflets and brochures provided by the South Downs National Park Authority, various institutions and by businesses in the vicinity.
Thanks to a donation from a member of the Wiggonholt Association, the window panes were refitted and stronger glass was put in place.
With no further funding in sight and scruffy paint work, it was decided that a professional painter – paid for out of the Wiggonholt Association’s fund – would be drafted in to give the kiosk the lick of paint it desperately needed.
By January 2013, the red pillar box had been restored to its former glory and a much needed grant from the National Park’s Sustainable Communities Fund meant that Wiggonholt could commission a local studio to produce the graphics for the interior.
The kiosk is now almost fully equipped and will be opened at 12pm on August 27 by Arun district councillor Norman Dingemans.
Coun Dingemans, deputy chairman of the South Downs National Park Authority, said: “I am delighted that the South Downs National Park is able to support projects such as this through our Sustainable Communities Fund.
“North Stoke is a lovely medieval village in the valley of the River Arun and it lies on popular walking routes and can be accessed from the South Downs and from Arundel.
“I would like to congratulate the Wiggonholt Association on their success.”
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