Almondbury is to lose its Tardis-style police box – temporarily.
The iconic police box is to be dismantled, removed and repaired in workshops before being returned to its position at Northgate next month (April).
West Yorkshire Police’s estates department has called in contractors to restore the listed structure in Northgate to its former glory, but that will involve taking it away for repair.
Kirklees councillor Bernard McGuin said: “The original plan was to repair it in situ and work started on Tuesday. But when the contractors got there they found it was in a worse state than they’d thought and they are having to take it away. The base is rotten and the floorboards inside were giving way.”
Clr McGuin said the box was disused but still had its own water and electricity supply which would have to be disconnected before the blue box could be moved.
Another relic from Huddersfield’s past underwent a similar restoration project. In 2014, the Grade 2-listed wooden Victorian tram shelter at Edgerton Road, Edgerton, was dismantled and removed for renovation before being returned just in time for the Tour de France.
- The police box, which resembles Dr Who’s Tardis, became a listed building in 1987.
- The blue boxes were once a common sight across the country.
They contained a telephone linked directly to the local sub-divisional police station. Officers on beat patrol could report their whereabouts from the box and use it to write up notes or take a break. The public also had access to the boxes to enable them to contact police quickly. Personal radios made the kiosks redundant as phone boxes in 1969.
A number of remaining Dr Who boxes around the country have found new uses as ice cream stands or coffee kiosks.
Clr McGuin said: “The box is not used by the police anymore. It is unlikely to be used in service in the future. It would be great if any local community group would like to look after it.
“The fact that it is a listed structure does seem to have put some people off. It would be fantastic if people living locally could provide the tender loving care that the structure needs. This week, a couple from New York turned up to get a picture of our ‘Tardis’. It could be there is a potential to use the box to attract people to the area.”