Horbury phone box becomes one of the world’s smallest art galleries

Darren Byford and Graham Roberts (chair of civic society) at the phone box which is to be converted into an art gallery.
Darren Byford and Graham Roberts (chair of civic society) at the phone box which is to be converted into an art gallery.

A traditional red phone box in Horbury which was under threat is being converted into one of the world’s smallest art galleries.

Once a vital communication tool that became a British institution, the brightly-coloured booths have become redundant in recent years thanks to the advent of mobile phones.

But Horbury Civic Society have since adopted a box, which sits outside Boons pub on Queen Street.

Paying just £1 to BT, it was feared it would otherwise be removed or fall into major disrepair.

Many others around the country have been converted in tiny libraries or to house plant displays, while other communities have used them for their own art galleries.

With the phone now itself removed, Horbury’s is currently being re-painted and will see new glass installed ready of its opening as The Red Box Gallery.

Horbury Civic Society’s Graham Roberts, said: “Hopefully it will be in place for Christmas because it needs to be reglazed.

“The interest of the Civic Society is improving urban design and drawing people’s attention to Horbury, and we wanted to do something with the phone box that would do that.

“We’ve had some very good positive comments about it. We’re replacing what has become an eyesore with something nice. I think it will look very good indeed.”

The first artist to showcase their work in the refurbished booth will be Wakefield’s Tony Wade, who is scheduled to place work into the booth on December 17.

It is hoped that the work from a new artist will be placed inside every three months.

Horbury is no stranger to artistic firsts, having opened Untitled Gallery on High Street in 2005, which at the time was said to be the world’s smallest gallery.

It measured 11ft x 7ft - considerably larger than its latest offering.