The humble, traditionally red, telephone box has been a part of our landscape for just over 80 years now, and yet its days are perhaps numbered. In the last year BT, who owns most of the public payphones in the UK, have put forward plans to decommission a vast number of them. In Wales alone the plans are for 1500 boxes to be removed – almost half of all the payphones in Wales.
It is true that with the advent of better mobile connections there is little need for public telephones in most parts of the country, yet in rural locations such as the Brecon Beacons this is still often the only way a traveller can make contact with the outside world as the mobile coverage is still poor or non-existent in such areas. Despite this they are still rarely used and will no doubt soon be removed or adopted by local communities to be used for other purposes.
For anyone over the age of 30 the payphone will undoubtedly be part of their childhood memories, and so perhaps out of a sense of nostalgia, but also to ensure that their last days are documented, I have visited and photographed the remaining payphones that fall inside the Brecon Beacons National Park. Just during the few months of this project at least two of the boxes I photographed were removed, and I plan to return to each of these sites in a few years' time to photograph the changed landscape.