Clair Shields – Planning Officer (Building Conservation)
Whilst the traditional red telephone box is an iconic English feature a green one is even more unusual. This telephone box at Fangdale Beck is a classic K6 type, designed in 1935 by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and made by Macfarlane of Glasgow. We think its green colour was the result of a competition for local school children who were given the opportunity to choose its colour.
There are also several listed red K6s in the North York Moors. Many K6 telephone boxes have been recently decommissioned and as a result some have been destroyed. In other areas local communities have adopted them turning them into village information points or lending libraries. A good example is at Oswaldkirk which has been restored to a high standard by local volunteers.
Standing in front of the Old Coastguard Station at the top of the slipway which was formerly used by the village’s lifeboat and fishing fleet, this curious cod structure is in fact an Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) collecting box. It was donated by the family of a local ship owner, Isaac Mills, in 1886. The cod was ‘fish-napped’ by local pranksters in 2006 and its brief absence galvanised local feeling towards the fishy curio. On its return the Parish Council successfully applied to English Heritage to have the structure listed. It is thought to be one of the oldest collecting boxes still in service for the RNLI.
A partnership scheme funded by the North York Moors National Park and English Heritage paid for the collecting box to be restored and the sign above it, which was missing, to be re-made based on historic photos of the feature.
Ice Houses are generally an 18th and 19th century feature and as their name suggests, they were purpose-made buildings used to store ice. They were therefore a feature which only the landed gentry would want or afford – the examples shown here are at Hackness Hall and Duncombe Park. Their main purpose was to store perishable foods and was a ‘must have’ feature when ice-creams and sorbets became fashionable in the 18th century. Ice Houses were used up until domestic refrigerators became available in the early 20th century.
Usually located close to lakes and fish ponds, the ice and snow which formed over winter would be collected and stored in the ice house, often insulated with straw or sawdust, where it would remain frozen during the summer months. In some cases ice was delivered from further afield and even imported from Scandinavia. Various types and designs of ice houses exist but they were commonly brick lined domed structures; some more elaborate than others.
Similarly there were also more mundane sounding Root Houses, built to provide dark spaces for the storage of root vegetables.