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Archive for January 2nd, 2012

Church Road, Longstock, Hampshire

I thought that a ‘Puddle’ a day would be the ultimate way of doing the 365 Photography Challenge. I really wanted a challenge! But in the end I decided that unless I wanted to follow Buddy (Our rather new puppyish black labrador collie cross) around all day in hopes of a Puddle I might well struggle to capture anything in those dry summer months! I browsed a few 365 blogs last night and found some fantastic inspiration but I’m not yet a confident enough person to follow some of them through. One Breakfast A Day (http://onebreakfastaday.wordpress.com) is a very inspiring (and tasty) blog of exactly what the title hints at. A photograph of a Breakfast a day. Whilst I could try something akin to that, often, there would be no Breakfast – and then what do I do?! Also I found a 365 blog that did a portrait and interview a day, finding strangers to fulfill the challenge. This morning whilst sitting in a local cafe with a lovely cup of coffee I saw three women gathered, elderly, knitting. They would have made a fantastic story for day one but sadly I lack the confidence to randomly approach people.

Longstock Road, Hampshire

Therefore my 365 challenge is going to be completely random. Today I visited the Hampshire village of Longstock. There’s a beautiful selection of tracks with amazing views to experience in and around the village but before embarking on one of those with the dogs I paused at something which I have been meaning to shoot for months.

Telephone Boxes are fast dying out and are one of the iconic visuals of country life similar to that of Postboxes and village churches. Nowadays, the Telephone boxes around here no longer accept coins, and indeed the box in Longstock has no telephone inside anymore. This box was installed in November 1937 and has withstood the many changes that have happened on the small local community over the decades. In fact the box itself, like many of the constructions along Longstock Road is a Grade II listed ‘building.’

Instead of leaving the box empty, the villagers have turned it into something of a community landmark. The box is free from graffiti, crude posters and slogans and instead houses – books! At some points during the months the box is piled from floor to ceiling with books, some of them the most latest and popular reads!

The idea is that anybody can pop in, have a browse and take a book, perhaps leaving one behind if they have any spare and thus it creates some interaction and some way of accessing a small but varied library for the local people. I’m not certain but I don’t think that the local mobile library stops in this village and it’s certainly¬† miles and miles to the nearest town of Andover or Winchester and so the Telephone Box Library seems a fantastic way to gain new reading material.

I didn’t take a book out this time, but instead left a stack of my own behind having already a shelf full to read from gaining a mini library at Christmas! I thought the rather quaint and quirky idea of a phonebox library was a fantastic way to start the 365 challenge.

The Books I left behind!

And here’s a mini fact about Longstock – it’s a quaint village, not famous for much with a population in the whole Parish of just 450 – but it contains Longstock Park which is linked to the Leckford Estate. Famously owned by the John Lewis Partnership (Waitrose?!) where a lot of the products are grown/produced.

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