Uganda Calling!

It’s the end of an era for Ruddington – as our last remaining public telephone box has just been granted planning permission by Rushcliffe Borough Council for a rather interesting change of use.

The Grade II listed, traditional, cast iron, red kiosk – in front of the War Memorial on Church Street – is a Type K6 designed in 1935 by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. Although an important heritage landmark for our village within the Conservation Area, BT Payphones decided that its lack of use made it no longer viable to keep in service.

That’s when The Mustard Seed Project, Uganda got their hands on the vintage structure, through BT’s ‘Adopt a Kiosk’ scheme, in which individuals, companies or charities can apply to buy a particular box in order to preserve it for future generations and turn it into something inspirational. It cost them £1!

Chair Sally Squires, says: “I visualised Ruddington’s red phone box being a vehicle to inform, educate and inspire the people of Ruddington about the work of the charity and so set about the application to adopt the box. Next there’s work to remove the ‘phone and add a leaflet box and chair.”

The assistant head of James Peacock School – with the help of the small group of charity trustees and event volunteers – is also planning to display artwork (below) created by the children from both James Peacock Infant & Nursery and St Peter’s Junior Schools on the back wall of the kiosk: “They have produced this through being inspired by the learnings they undertake in school about the world, the charity and of course their awareness and development of becoming global citizens.”

Some of the children’s artwork

The Jubilee Kiosk – designed to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George V – stands at 8 foot 3 inches tall and measures 3 feet square. With these dimensions, The Mustard Seed Project is thinking that the phone box might become the ‘World’s Smallest Art Gallery’ (or at least the smallest in Nottinghamshire?) through displaying the children’s work.

At last – a long overdue lick of paint!

The charity’s volunteers have an obligation to maintain the vintage box; however they’re off to a good start because, after years of neglect, BT finally repainted it in October 2018 {pictured} to restore its original, vibrant, red colour. This turned out to be rather good timing since BT states: “Kiosks are ‘adopted as seen’ and we won’t make improvements to them ahead of adoption.”

Trustee Ruth Keen explains: “As well as the art gallery, in the box you will be able to find out more information about the charity. There will be details about forthcoming fundraising events and what the money raised will be put towards.  You will be able to see the work carried out by the charity to date and the difference it has already made to the lives of many people in Uganda.”

Sally adds: “We hope to have an opening ceremony in February with an art competition, African drumming and dancing to launch it – although we may need permission to hold a street party?!”

Meantime you can find out more about the work of The Mustard Seed Project, become involved or offer support by emailing email them at Also check out their latest news via their Facebook page >>HERE<<.

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