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Mystery calls to phone box could see you live on air

PUBLISHED: 10:03 10 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:03 10 July 2019

A traditional phone box in Runham, Norfolk. 

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

A traditional phone box in Runham, Norfolk. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

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People in a Norfolk town could find themselves live on air if they pick up a mystery phone call, as a radio station launches a campaign to support its local phone boxes.

James and Vicky Fowler have come up with a novel way of encouraging people to use the town phonebo. Photo: SubmittedJames and Vicky Fowler have come up with a novel way of encouraging people to use the town phonebo. Photo: Submitted

Last month BT announced it would scrap around 20,000 telephone boxes in a bid to focus its attention on locations with the most users.

As part of the drive, it proposed a phone box near Tuttles Lane, Wymondham, should be removed.

While some in the town believe the boxes are an eyesore and waste of space, others feel it is important to preserve them.

One supporter was James Fowler, of Orchard Way, who enlisted the help of local station Radio Wymondham to remind people why the boxes should be preserved.

James and Vicky Fowler have come up with a novel way of encouraging people to use the town phonebo. Photo: SubmittedJames and Vicky Fowler have come up with a novel way of encouraging people to use the town phonebo. Photo: Submitted

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He said: "I've always loved phone boxes and felt really sad to think of them going. They remind me of being a kid in Little Melton and my mum would call me on the payphone when it was time for tea."

He and his wife Vicky wanted to recapture the nostalgia and, together with breakfast show presenter AJ, created a mystery caller feature for the show.

Every morning for the next week the Brekkie Show DJ will call the phone box outside Savers on Market Place in the hope that someone will pick up.

The radio presenter said: "As soon as I heard the idea, I loved it. After the recent debates on whether they should be kept or not I thought it was a brilliant way to make more use of the boxes and hopefully encourage local people to get involved with something a bit out of the ordinary. It's not every day you answer a random phone.

"I hope that the local residents of Wymondham or other passers-by will catch wind of the new feature to the Brekkie Show and keep an ear out if they are in town on a morning."

The Wymondham DJ said each day would be different - some days just having a chat, and others giving away prizes and entries to draws.

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