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Town Hall's red call boxes off for an arty makeover

A quintet of iconic Middlesbrough characters are off for an arty makeover…

The five red telephone boxes have been a familiar sight on the Dunning Road side of the Town Hall for decades. 

Now they're being given a new lease of life as part of the latest public art project in the town centre.

Stephen Hurrel's light installation will see the boxes lit up internally in an array of different colours.

The interactive piece will feature bars of light which rise and fall within the phone boxes in response to surrounding sound and movement.

First, however, the boxes must be removed and restored - no small task as the frames are made of cast iron.

Work started this week to remove the five kiosks from their foundations and prepare them for transportation.

They'll then be taken to a workshop where their glazing will be removed and they'll be stripped and repainted.

New glass and signs will be installed, along with light fittings for the new artwork, with the boxes expected to return to their normal spot in early July.

Councillor Mieka Smiles, Middlesbrough Council's Executive member for Culture & Communities, said: "There are few more iconic sights on our high streets than the red telephone box, and ones at the Town Hall are part of the fabric of Middlesbrough life.

"I'm delighted that these five kiosks - part of the landscape on many a night out in the town - are finding a new lease of life as part of our commitment to public art across Middlesbrough.

"They've also been one of my priorities since joining the Executive, so I'm thrilled to see this project taking shape.

"I can't wait to see them installed, and for them to become a talking point for yet another generation."

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