May 22 2013 Latest news:
By Richard Batson
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
It must be Norfolk’s smallest venue for a Jubilee event - a light and airy exhibition space measuring just 1m square.
For the tiny community of Plumstead near Holt is staging a display of royal memorabilia in its former phone box.
The village of just 100 adults has no community building, other than the parish church.
So when the disused call box came up for grabs locals decided to buy it and turn it into an information centre, outlining local history and information about events.
But it will also host special events and the first will be an exhibition about the Diamond Jubilee.
Village volunteer Julie Brown said: “When BT were selling off the old boxes we saw others around the country were being used for things such as art galleries and a bar, which got us thinking.”
The box was bought by the parish council for £1 and the refurbishment back to its pillar box red glory, paid for by the Plumstead 2000 Fund, carried out by Andrew Baguley.
Its routine role will be as a “tourist information centre” containing information about local heritage for visitors often drawn by the nearby church, along with details about the restoration of the box, the new village flagpole, and lists of upcoming events.
But during the Jubilee weekend it will have photos of the village coronation celebrations, including a programme for the day on Tuesday June 2 1953.
In the absence of a village hall, the action took place at a barn on Mr Brind’s farm, with presentations of mugs to children, a chance to watch a broadcast of events in London and a dance - with locals encouraged to bring a plate, cutlery, cup saucer and fruit dish.
Long-serving residents Mervyn and Eileen Gibbons, who were youngsters at the time, also recalled sports on a farmers’ field including a three-legged race which Mr Gibbons, now 80, won with Brian Strutt.
He said the phone box, despite having been moved along Church Street, was the same one that was there in wartime, and had queues of American airmen outside waiting to call home.
Mrs Brown, who will officially open the phone box during the Jubilee celebrations on Monday June 4, said: “It must be the smallest Jubilee venue in the county. You can just about get a family of four in there, providing they all know each other. If they don’t they will afterwards.”