Scarborough’s seafront Tardis renovated

Police box on Sandside. 094535d.
Police box on Sandside. 094535d.

Scarborough’s seafront police box – which is affectionately known as the Tardis after Doctor Who’s time machine – is due to be renovated.

Cllr David Billing, who represents residents living in the Central ward, initially asked for the work to be carried out and said he was pleased to the rapid response.

He added: “Some parts of the woodwork needed repairing – it looked like it needed some tender loving care.

“It’s a grade II-listed building. Many of us, of a certain age, will remember hiding (from the Daleks) behind the sofa on a Saturday evening. It’s iconic.

“My request was dealt with in a prompt way which I was delighted with.”

The work is being funded by North Yorkshire Police who are obliged to maintain the box because of its listed status.

A force spokesman said: “Repairs and decoration to the famous police box in Scarborough will commence over the coming months and forms part of North Yorkshire Police’s estate maintenance programme.

“It was last renovated in June 2009 and was planned to be re-done in 2013.

“However, this has been bought forward to ensure the property is maintained as an important local landmark in line with its grade II-listed building status.”

It is understood that the work on the Scarborough landmark, which stands near the harbour in Sandside, will cost a total of £5,000.

The box is believed to have been built around 1920 and is of wooden construction. There is a square window on each face, with one set in the door, and it is topped with a shallow pyramid roof and police call sign.

They used to be a vital to police work in the days before radio communication – bobbies on the beat used a phone in the boxes to contact the station.

The boxes could also be used by members of the public to report crimes and the police occasionally even used Scarborough’s police box as a temporary jail.

It is one of only three English boxes left standing in their original locations and the box was listed in February 1988.

British police boxes were usually blue and, in addition to the telephone, usually contained items such as a first aid kit and an incident book.

The very first police telephone was introduced in Albany, New York, in 1877 – just a year after the telephone was invented – and police boxes were installed six years later.