KCOM news

Iconic cream phone box cast in stone finds new home

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Hull’s iconic cream telephone boxes have been immortalised in stone thanks to one enterprising company.

Artists working for Odlings, the family-owned memorial masons, have created a replica of one of KCOM’s famous cream K6 phone boxes to showcase their skills.

The three-quarter size replica, which weighs in at nearly a quarter of a tonne, is made from Indian polished black granite which has then been skilfully sculpted using sandblasting, etching and carving techniques.

The phone box, which was created to be the centrepiece of an Odlings exhibition stand, was then painted by the company’s team of artists to reflect famous sights and figures from Hull’s history in its windows.

The phone box is now on permanent display in Hull History Centre but generated a lot of interest when it made its debut at an industry convention in Warwickshire last year.

“We’ve had a fantastic reaction,” says Odlings managing director Duncan Reynolds.

“I think the standard reaction was ‘wow, that’s amazing. What is it?’ It certainly grabbed a lot of attention.

“The idea behind it was to showcase what our artists and craftsmen could do and because the exhibition coincided with the UK City of Culture celebrations we wanted to create something that was unique to Hull.

“We gave our artists free rein to do whatever they wanted and they came back with this, which is pretty spectacular. It took months to complete but it was well worth the effort.”

Among the famous figures that can be seen reflected in the phone box are Olympic boxer Luke Campbell, William Wilberforce, Mick Ronson and Amy Johnson while scenes such as the Humber Bridge, The Deep and the Hull Blitz are also on display.

Memorial wholesalers Odlings has been based in Hull since 1899, employing more than 60 people – including the team of full time artists – who create bespoke memorials for the monumental trade.

Duncan, said: “It’s fantastic that the phone box will now be on permanent display in the Hull History Centre. It will be great that our artists and their families will be able to come down and see some of their work on public display.

“Very few members of the public know we’re here in Hull, so this will be a nice way to show what we do and also pay tribute to the city.”

Sandra Davison, the artist leading the creation and painting of the K6 replica, said making the phone box had presented an interesting challenge.

She said: “I was given the brief at the beginning of 2017 to design and create a granite sculpture to celebrate our home town, Hull, being given the status of UK City of Culture 2017.

“After discussing various ideas with my colleagues we decided on creating Hull’s iconic cream phone box, the colour being unique to Hull, as we are the only city in the UK with its own independent telephone company, KCOM.

“The sculpture would fit perfectly in the space on the stand and would be ideal for showing off Hull and its various landmarks, images and people. It was also to be used promotionally as a talking point on the exhibition stand to showcase the company’s ability to produce one off custom creations of artwork in granite.”

For more details about Odlings visit www.odlings.co.uk For Hull History centre opening times visit www.hullhistorycentre.org.uk

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