Muddy kiosks call for clean start

PUBLISHED: 11:29 12 January 2006 | UPDATED: 17:11 11 May 2010

ODD as it may seem only one of Post Wobegon's two telephone kiosks is a listed building. After it was pictured last week the cry was: Why shouldn't the other one have a photograph call as well" Achieving this was not as easy as it sounds. Apparently, in

ODD as it may seem only one of Post Wobegon's two telephone kiosks is a listed building. After it was pictured last week the cry was: "Why shouldn't the other one have a photograph call as well" Achieving this was not as easy as it sounds. Apparently, in wet weather, every time heavy farm machinery turns on or off the Mare Way, the phone box receives a goodly splashing either with mud or muddy water. Barbara tells me that she got thoroughly sick of lugging a bucket of water up there every five minutes to wash it down. BT, I understand, ceased to have responsibility for its appearance a year or more ago. We now have David, who at minimal cost to the parish council, is the officially appointed telephone kiosk window cleaner. Undoubtedly, the ideal solution, or is it? Three days after washing it down for the first time he phoned in to say that the kiosk was once again covered in mud. Why does the phone box need such continual attention and why should the parish council stand the expense, however minimal this may be? As I understand it, in the normal course of events the drivers of vehicles that leave mud on the road have a responsibility to remove it. Should the same rule not apply for other facilities thus affected? If we are not careful this is yet another village facility that could disappear, a point which, in this case, would be a sad one because it has a double duty. Its light bulb, now eventually replaced by BT, is a welcome source of light on the top road in a village where there are but eight street lights currently maintained and financed by South Cambridgeshire District Council. During the coming months the capped district council will be withdrawing this facility as an economy cutback, having given parish councils the option of either assuming these responsibilities or having their lighting turned off. The parish council is due to discuss the inclusion of these running costs in the next year's precept. The arrival of these lights were preceded by years of discussion, arguments for and against, they even made national news and yet here is another village facility which for some will disappear. n Jill Marshall reports in The Crow from the Eversdens each week in Village Scene.

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