East Yorkshire residents transform iconic disused red phone box into 'smallest museum'

The Catton Heritage and Preservation Society and Catton Parish Council took advantage of a telephone box scheme.

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Residents in an East Yorkshire village have transformed their once disused red telephone box on an ancient footpath into a historian's paradise.

Dubbed the ‘Smallest Museum in the East Riding’, the transformed unit in Low Catton contains small artefacts and various documents about the parish along with a book exchange.

It was officially opened in front of GB News by Gordon Peel, Chairman of Catton Parish Council and was the brainchild of James Rossdale, Founder of Catton Heritage and Preservation Society.

Red phone boxes are perhaps one of the most iconic features of Britain, but with most people now using mobile phones, the need for them has diminished over time.

But with a bit of love from communities across the UK, the humble red phone box has taken on a new lease of life after BT allowed communities to adopt their local phone boxes which otherwise would have been removed.

The Catton Heritage and Preservation Society and Catton Parish Council took advantage of the scheme.

They bought the telephone box for £1 and then transforming it with council funding into a centre for villagers and visitors to learn of Catton's past, which harks back to the 12th century.

"It is now East Yorkshire's smallest museum and heritage centre and also used for book swapping, but it's really going to be about the heritage and information about what Catton High and Low are," said James Rossdale, Founder of Catton Heritage and Preservation Society.

"The church here is about 1000 years old and used to be used as the main church for the region.

"There were mills and there were all sorts, so it's important for people who come through to know what happened and what was here before, which has never been put really into history".

These sentiments were echoed by Gordon Peel, Chairman of Catton Parish Council, who believes that the transformed phone box has brought the community together.

He said: "Everyone who's seen it has been impressed, including me because having seen what it was like before, this is fantastic.

"There is such a lot of history around here, which many people aren't aware of".

Catton Heritage And Preservation Society was formed in 2021 and has achieved the gathering of local support including the parish council to assist with the tasks.

The group welcomes those who have an interest towards the preservation of the village’s history and heritage.

For more information about the society, email [email protected].