Retro British-style phone booths turning heads in Burin
Tom Hollett commissioned functional booths to combat area's lack of cell phone service
A man in Burin is turning the area's lack of cell service into a boon for tourism by commissioning two old fashioned phone booths for people to use when visiting the community.
Tom Hollett, who owns Jiffy Cabs in St. John's, lives in Burin and has been trying to develop tourism in the area for the last five years.
Part of that is a campaign to transform the older part of the community – where there is no cell reception – into a fun place for people to visit. That's where the idea for the phone booths came in.
"You find a lot of people visiting from away rely on their cell phone, and all of a sudden they have no way to connect with their friends, and believe me that's culture shock to kids this day and age " he told CBC..
"So we looked at some examples on the internet and we came up with the old British-style phone booth. If you look closely you'll see we even have the old crown crest stenciled into it."
The stylized phone booths, designed and built by Isaac McConnell and Kerry Wiscombe, were built in the fashion of the classic red telephone box, and then through cooperation with Bell Aliant were made into functioning public pay phones.
Besides providing a valuable service to disconnected tourists, Hollett says the booths have also been turning heads.
"It's been funny actually. A car will drive up the road and drive past, then stop, then back up and then everyone will pile out and start taking pictures," he laughed.
"We're just trying to create another tourist destination for Newfoundland and Labrador, and I will. We've got Fogo, and L'Anse aux Meadows and Trinity and Bonavista — well Burin is going to be right up there with them."