REDUNDANT telephone boxes outside Skipton Town Hall have been given a new lease of life thanks to a project involving primary school children and community groups.

Artists and theatrical designers, Caitlin Mawhinney and Charlotte Murray, were commissioned by Skipton Town Hall to create installations inside the pair of former BT telephone boxes.

The project was part of the restoration of the front of the town hall and funded by Skipton Heritage Action Zone (HAZ), a government programme focused on the regeneration of high streets. The telephone boxes, which have been in place for more than 60 years, were removed temporarily to be restored and are now back, standing to attention in their old positions.

The town hall team wanted to create a space to celebrate Skipton’s local history, creativity, and community, and selected the artists after creative practitioners were invited to submit proposals.

Caitlin and Charlotte worked with Greatwood Community Primary School, and visited community groups, to gather stories and inspiration for the installations.

In the 'gallery' phone box, artwork was created at workshops where pupils were invited to explore what they love about being part of Skipton.

And, for the 'museum' box, the artists created dioramas, following a timeline of six scenes inspired by memories and stories gathered from people about their time living and working in Skipton, both past and present.

Recreations detailing scenes such as Craven Museum, dances in the 1950s and Skipton Puppet Festival are displayed against a mural backdrop. It includes a painted excerpt from the diary of cotton weaver in the 1800s, Richard Ryley – a much loved object on display in Craven Museum.

Caitlin said: "Having run workshops with the primary school and collected stories from residents, the artworks capture the community heart of Skipton – showing the town through the eyes of its children and recreating memories of local history from people who live and work in the area.

"We brought this to life through miniature dioramas and painted murals and we hope to spark joy and evoke memories in a quiet moment of reflection for visitors to the phone boxes.’’

Megan Hickes, arts and cultural development officer, added: “It has been fantastic to work with Caitlin and Charlotte on this project and to have the opportunity to share these installations with our visitors and community.

"We loved hearing the stories from children and adults from the creative sessions – everything from people’s favourite places to go with their family in Skipton, to memories of attending dances and concerts.

"We are excited to be able to creatively repurpose the telephone boxes and create an extension of Craven Museum and exhibition gallery - inspired by, and celebrating our local heritage and community.”

The telephone box exhibitions will have the same opening times at Skipton Town Hall, Monday to Saturday, 9.30am to 4.30pm.

To find out more about Craven Museum and Gallery visit