CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Yours for £60k – a famous red London telephone box

10 September, 2021 — By Harry Taylor

A kiosk in Hampstead which is among those being sold

A SLICE of Hampstead’s historic street landscape could be yours – if you’re willing to part with up to £60,000.

Six famous “K6 Jubilee” red telephone boxes are up for sale, including those that have housed coffee shops in Hampstead High Street and South End Green.

A guide price lists ones in Hampstead as £60,000 – whereas similar kiosks in Kensington, yards away from Kensington Palace, are £9,000.

With usage of them plummeting over the past two decades with the advent of mobile phones, thousands have been sold off by BT and have found new lives as coffee shops, homes for defibrillators or ad hoc community bookshops.

For their money, buyers would get the three-square-foot telephone box and an electricity connection. They would be able to sell it on at any point, but they couldn’t move it or change its exterior, due to its listed status.

Danny Baker at his coffee stand

The kiosks were designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, who also designed Battersea and Bankside power stations.

Danny Baker runs the Original Red Coffee Box in Hampstead from a Grade II-listed kiosk.

He said he wasn’t worried about it being up for sale. It was set up in 2016, and claims to be the first of its kind in the world.

“I think it’s been up for a while,” he said. “We had some woman come a few months ago and say that she was interested in buying the three of them, but she wanted to keep the coffee shop here, because it’s famous. People take photos of it, and it goes across the world.”

The gregarious former West End ticket seller took on the stand in January this year and is warmly greeted by people driving past, promising they’ll pop in later.

“I love it, I always think I’ve got the best job in the world, particularly on days like this,” Mr Baker added.

“You can’t make a living off it, not really, not without the tourists, so I think if someone bought it wanting a big return they’d be disappointed.”

The listing by property firm BidX1 says it’s an opportunity to buy “an iconic piece of British heritage located in busy Hampstead High Street”.

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