ICONIC red telephone boxes are becoming a thing of the past these days.
But one of the ever-dwindling number of BT telephone kiosks has now found a permanent home in a very unusual location – on board a Portsmouth warship.
Sailors on board HMS Westminster were presented with the classic phone booth in London on Friday.
The ship is on a high-profile visit to the capital and the ship’s affiliated borough of Westminster.
And the red phone box will be given a prime position whenever the ship is in port, both in the UK and around the world.
The ship’s company will also use the kiosk for internal communications around the frigate and it will be used as the quartermaster’s telephone whenever she is docked.
Lieutenant Commander Mickey Rooney, who serves on board HMS Westminster, said: ‘We couldn’t be more proud to be carrying an icon of the country’s high streets as we protect the UK’s interests worldwide.
‘Carrying the phone box to each and every nation we hope will bring the very visual reassurance that Britain is on and hand and inevitably all will be well.
‘Following two years of counter-piracy and anti-terrorist patrols, spanning from the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean to the Atlantic, we will be embarking on the next chapter of our adventure in the summer which will see us return East of Suez.’
The phone box was handed over as HMS Westminster is moored on the River Thames, alongside HMS Belfast.
Her ship’s company have been around the city over the weekend, holding parades at Westminster Abbey.
The chief executive of BT Payphones Steven Hughes said: ‘Our red kiosks really capture the public’s imagination and many have been adopted around the UK and used in unusual ways, but being aboard a working navy ship is going to take some beating.’
‘It’s fantastic to see our red kiosk joining the ranks of the navy and I think it already looks very much at home.’