A TRADDITIONAL phone box has received a new lease of life as a library in popular spot for families in Shipley.

Recently re-located from outside a cafe in Menston to a play area at Hirst Wood, as well as being re painted and stocked with books, the “little free library” was opened at a ceremony this morning.

The phone box will replace a much smaller library facility, not much bigger than a bird house, that has been popular with local children since it was installed a few years ago.

The project has been carried out by the Hirst Wood Re-generation Group, with the help of Saltaire Primary School. The previous library has now been moved to the primary school.

Now the phone booth library is open, people will be able to visit the library at any time to borrow a book, or to drop one off.

The library should remain well stocked, as the local Children’s Society Charity Shop in Saltaire have donated over 1,000 books.

It has been painted in the colours of Saltaire Primary School with help from local business Manor Coatings.

The actual phone booth had been bought by the group for just £1, and Bradford Council helped transport it from Menston.

Pauline Bradley-Sharp, secretary of the regeneration group, said: “The kids can help themselves to books whenever they want. They can keep the books, but you do sometimes get parents bringing them back.

“The great thing was we had children of all ages taking the books at the other little library.

“We’d had a little bit of vandalism at the old library, but the kids involved had a telling off by police, did a bit of community work with us and we haven’t had any trouble since.

“I think children in the area take pride in what they see as theirs.”

Sally Stoker, head of Saltaire Primary School, said: “We have a really strong community partnership with the group, almost everything they do benefits the children. The little free library idea has gone from strength to strength, and we thought the idea of turning a phone box into a library is brilliant.

“It is really like a Tardis, you go in this phone box and are transferred into another world through reading.

“The children can just pop in there on their way to or from school.”