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Could Armley’s eyesore phone boxes become book swap shops?

Residents in Armley have said they want to retain eyesore phone boxes on Town Street – and are hoping to turn them into mini community book swaps in a bid to reclaim the boxes.

Local group All Together Armley held a public consultation asking what local residents wanted to do about the future of the boxes, which suffer from ongoing vandalism and graffiti.

81% of respondents asked for them to be retained and 19% wanted them removed.

Eyesore: One of the telephone boxes on Armley Town Street. Photo: Glenn Broadbent

The group is now looking at creating a book swap shop in the boxes where people can go and exchange books for no cost. But police have raised concerns about theft and arson, and the group is looking at how those issues can be overcome. A spokesperson told The Dispatch:

“At our last meeting it was decided to create a book swop shop in the boxes. There are issues surrounding theft and arson which need addressing and if they cannot be overcome we will look at other avenues to make them look brighter and cleaner.

“Residents have made it clear they want the phone boxes on Armley Town Street to stay. However, there was a strong feeling they could look a lot better.

There were some great suggestions and some very quirky ones as to how this could be achieved, including a Mr Benn style changing box to transform people into superheroes.”

All Together Armley say they have contacted British Telecom, which has agreed to tidy up the boxes.

“We wait to see to what extent,” the ATA spokesperson added.

What do you think? Is a book swap shop a good idea on Armley Town Street? Have your say in the comments below.


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