In Leominster, Herefordshire, an old telephone box, locally known as Bertie Bargates, has recently been renovated with the help of Leominster Rotary Club and now houses a life-saving defibrillator.
After BT gave the rapidly deteriorating telephone kiosk to The Community Heart-Beat Trust, who had already converted 600 similar kiosks to defibrillators, an alliance was formed between the trust, Leominster Rotary and local charity ‘Leominster in Bloom’ to undertake the project which became known as The Bertie Bargates Restoration Project.
The project has been officially dedicated to the memory of the late Jeremy (Jack) Daw, a local paramedic who tragically lost his life in a freak road traffic accident in 2021.
His widow, Dawn Daw, cut the ribbon to officially unveil the renovated Bertie and was supported by her extended family.
Speaking to The Shropshire Star ahead of the unveiling, secretary of Leominster in Bloom, Gill Ding, said: “It is fantastic that the money for the restoration of the phone box has been raised.
“It has been quite a long project but we wanted to tidy up the kiosk that will now help save lives.”
Also in attendance was Mayor of Leominster, Councillor Trish Marsh, who spoke highly of Jack and his contribution to Leominster as a paramedic.
The project has been in the works for a few years now, with the £4,000 needed to complete the restoration coming from much-appreciated sponsorship, crowd-funding and assistance from Leominster Council.
Local blacksmith Ross Chance provided lots of help with cleaning up the kiosk and Leominster Rotary supplied 72 brand new panes of toughened glass.