On Sunday, I spotted two men fiddling with the phone box on Tranquil Vale. I assumed they were repairing or fixing it. When I asked them they said “No, it’s going”. So, one less phone box for Blackheath. I have mixed feelings about these pay phones.
Everyone claims to love the way that traditional red phone boxes look, but I vividly remember the way that they used to pong… Stale tobacco and god knows what else. But the new ones didn’t have the style, even if they functioned better.
This is what I don’t understand… BT has this spectacular quantity of small parcels of land in public areas that are powered by electricity, and connected to their telephone network. Why don’t they modify each one to become part of a wireless network? Wireless connectivity in this country is still pretty patchy, even in London. If they offered it as a free service to their landline subscribers, it might stop their exodus to other companies.
I’ve often wanted to do a spot of wardriving around Blackheath, to see where any free wifi might be. But with no GPS unit, and no car, it’s not likely to happen in the near future. However, if anyone else has the inclination to do it, download netstumbler, and let me know what you discover. Googling suggests that the Royal Standard pub might have some?
Phone box photo from Flickr user rbrwr.