Page last updated at 17:24 GMT, Monday, 7 July 2008 18:24 UK

Phone box that's a home from home

Cadwgan Edwards in the phone box near his home
Cadwgan Edwards in the call box virtually on his doorstep

Like most of us, Cadwgan Edwards would find life tough without his phone. The difference is, however, that his is in a public call box outside his house.

There is no mobile phone coverage in his part of Ceredigion, and he won't have a home phone installed because he says it may mean closure of the kiosk.

So he uses the call box only yards from his front door to contact friends and run his business.

He leaves his window open to hear it ringing and even keeps the kiosk clean.

According to official figures, 90% of people in the UK have a home phone.

Not, though, Mr Edwards, of Ffair Rhos, near Tregaron, who said he used the call box to prevent BT from closing it.

The phone box near Cadwgan Edwards' home
There are 4,324 kiosks in Wales
The future of 806 in Wales are in doubt
71% of Welsh payphones are unprofitable
9% make less than one call a month
Some have not made any calls at all in the past year
Source: BT
BT said there had been a general fall in demand for phone boxes, and it is in consultation with local councils throughout Wales about the future of 806 kiosks.

They do not include Mr Edwards's kiosk, however, as BT said it was not under threat.

Mr Edwards said he had used the phone box since moving into his house 19 years ago, but there had been a payphone on the same spot since the end of World War II.

But the mechanic and bus driver said he would be "lost and upset" if BT ever decided to close the phone box near both his home and workshop.

He said he relied heavily on the call box to keep in touch.

"Phone boxes are vital in the countryside, especially in areas where there is no mobile phone coverage," said Mr Edwards.

"The phone box is so close it my home that I don't see any need for a home phone.

"I keep the phone box clean and keep an eye out for vandals and thieves."

But how does he hear the phone ringing?

"Well, I keep my front door open during the day, and my workshop is nearby too.

"At night I keep my bedroom window open," he added.

Phone box closure plans opposed
07 Jul 08 |  Humber

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