A HISTORY group has started an online petition to save a traditional red telephone booth which stands in a historic town centre.

Michael Oneill, who runs Bishop Auckland Station history group, started the petition after finding out the town's landmark would be removed.

He said: “For the last few years we’ve been really promoting the heritage of the town, but more the industrial side, such as the railways.

“I’m 45 now and for as long as I can remember the red telephone box has always been there.

"I know throughout the country they’re becoming scarce, because they’re getting scrapped or sold on for private use.

“I think it’s an iconic piece of architecture, and it couldn’t be in a better place than Bishop Auckland Market Place with the traditional surroundings – it fits in beautifully with the town hall."

Several people commented on the petition to share their fond memories of the kiosk and express sadness at its removal.

The Northern Echo:

With many couples having been married in St Anne's church next to the box, various wedding photos took place there, and one woman even claimed she had been proposed to inside of the kiosk in 1978.

Mr Oneill added: “Many people over the years have created memories there, such as newlyweds who often have wedding photographs taken near the box.

“It would be such a shame and a loss if it were removed, as it obviously means a lot to so many people in the town.

"If we manage to save it, we're prepared to take over all maintenance, such as painting etc."

The online petition has now reached over 200 signatures, and the history group are hopeful that more people will sign in support of saving the town's last kiosk.

Bishop Auckland Town Cllr Sam Zair said: “We have come together to see if we can get the local authorities to adopt the red phone box before it’s taken out forever.

"These phone boxes are famous landmarks all around the country and recognisable all around the world, so it would be a real shame to see it go.

"Councils up and down the country are adopting them and putting them to some good use, such as fitting them with defibrillators.

“It is also in keeping with our historical links, and I can imagine lots of people have a story to tell regarding its location.”

To help the history group with their fight to save the red telephone box, sign the petition Save The last Red Telephone Kiosk in Bishop Auckland at change.org