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Ringing the changes with new phone box library

19 January 2018
Former MP and Home Secretary Alan Johnson with residents of Weston-on-the-Green celebrating the official opening of the village’s new phone box library.

A vintage red phone box has been given a new lease of life as a miniature library for residents of a village in Cherwell.

With support from Sanctuary Housing, Weston-on-the-Green Village Hall Committee has stocked the phone box, situated in a newly-refurbished area outside the village hall, with hundreds of favourite titles for readers of all ages to enjoy.

With no library of their own and the mobile library service no longer visiting the village, residents previously had to travel to nearby local towns to borrow books. But now, they can visit the phone box library at any time to pick up something new to read and return titles they are finished with.

The community, led by the Village Hall Committee, has rallied behind the idea, holding a variety of fundraising events and donating books from their own collections, while Weston-on-the-Green Parish Council also made a donation to the cause.

Inside, the phone box boasts an extensive and varied collection of books, with many of the titles hand-picked by local youngsters from Weston-on-the-Green.

The library was officially opened on Saturday 13 January by former MP and Home Secretary Alan Johnson, with residents gathering at the phone box to celebrate and enjoy browsing the shelves.

Alan Johnson (left) with Andrew Wilson, chairman of Weston-on-the-Green Village Hall Committee.

Andrew Wilson, chairman of Weston-on-the-Green Village Hall Committee, said: “The phone box library is a wonderful addition to the village and we’re so grateful for the support from Sanctuary, the parish council and everyone in the community who has helped make this idea a reality.”

Kate Winstanley, Sanctuary’s neighbourhood partnerships manager, added: “We are always keen to support projects which add to our neighbourhoods and the local facilities on offer to residents.

“The library is a fantastic community project and will be a valuable resource for people of all ages in Weston-on-the-Green.”

This project was part-funded by Sanctuary’s Community Investment Fund, supporting projects which benefit Sanctuary residents and their communities.