Rural phone box becomes a glorious Santa spectacle

This is the sight that greets you if you drive through Prickwillow. The wondrously decorated phone box art gallery.

This is the sight that greets you if you drive through Prickwillow. The wondrously decorated phone box art gallery. Picture: Cary Outis - Credit: Archant

Artist Cary Outis – who recently bought the former parish church at Prickwillow – has turned his artistic prowess to a phone box!

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years.

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years. - Credit: Archant

With his partner Ricki they have turned the phone box/ art gallery into a glorious Santa spectacle.

“This year Santa is taking social distancing very seriously,” says Cary.

“Ricki and I persuaded the old boy to get back on the deliveries, in spite of the local level 4 isolation in Lapland, as well as a host of tricky cross border quarantine rules worldwide”.

The Phonebox Gallery can be found at Main Street, Prickwillow, CB74UN

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years.

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years. - Credit: Archant


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The gallery was the brainchild of villager and curator Nick Edell.

He received enthusiastic backing from Prickwillow Village Council, back in the autumn of 2010 when the council purchased the phone box from BT for just £1.

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The only restriction on the sale was that it was not moved. With no funds available for the restoration, a number of villagers stepped in to offer their services for free.

Local builder Dave Simpson carried out the bulk of the work using red and black paint leftover from a refurbishment of the village hall.

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years.

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years. - Credit: Archant

The door lock was fitted by Cllr Richard Raine and the box was cleaned by ex-villager, Jackie Petts. The gallery has been featured in numerous print and online publications worldwide, with the news even reaching radio audiences in Canada and the US.

Speaking of the global attention the project has received so far, Mr Edell said: “It’s amazing that our little telephone box has made international news. It’s very surreal… but I guess that suits the project!”

The phone box has displayed approximately one show each month since that time and works alongside ADeC (Arts Development in East Cambridgeshire) on certain projects.

“Our aim is providing an open art space for local artists, craftspeople, galleries and school children as well as contemporary artists and photographers from further afield,” said Mr Edell.

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years.

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years. - Credit: Archant

The exhibit for Christmas last year was also by Cary Outis – the whole box being turned into a Santa’ train.

If you plan to visit the gallery in coming days please either take a selfie next to Santa or get someone to photograph you and your family.

We’d love to publish them so simply send them to john.elworthy@archant.co.uk

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years.

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years. - Credit: Archant

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years.

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years. - Credit: Archant

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years.

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years. - Credit: Archant

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years.

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years. - Credit: Archant

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years.

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years. - Credit: Archant

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years.

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years. - Credit: Archant

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years.

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years. - Credit: Archant

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years.

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years. - Credit: Archant

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years.

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years. - Credit: Archant

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years.

Prickwillow telephone box art gallery. This from the archives of recent years. - Credit: Archant

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