Iconic Phonebox, Oykel Bridge, Scotland

JULY 2005 – A lonely phonebox on the A837 in the Scottish Highlands, near Oykel Bridge, Scotland. © Mark Zanzig/zanzig.com

The story behind the image

On our way towards the North of Scotland we stayed in Lairg, a sleepy village situated directly at the beautiful Loch Shin. Lairg is a good stopover when you are on your way to the North, or to the Highlands. The next morning we visited the (not so) dramatic waterfalls Falls of Shin in the heart of the Highlands and did a long walk in the forest.

We continued our way towards the Scottish west coast on the A837 and suddenly it appeared: A lonely phone box in the middle of nowhere, right before Oykel Bridge. There certainly were good reasons for it in the times before mobile networks became ubiquitous, maybe some laws for minimum communication services to be provided even in remote areas, but even in 2005 when I shot the image above, it was weird to see it on a small country road without any noticable settling next to it. It really looked like the village it (once) belonged to had disappeared – or was yet to be built. (We were coming from the east, so we did not know that The Oykel Bridge hotel was to come just after the next turn.

Others have photographed the Oykel Bridge phonebox before, like Allan MacIver in November 2016. He wrote that it was still there in July 2019. Recent streetview images by Google confirm that it was gone in November 2021, so all the yearning and its status as “iconic phonebox” have not helped. After all, BT is just another business that cannot support services that (probably) nobody needs or uses.

Streetview images show that the iconic phonebox near Oykel Bridge has been removed between May 2015 and November 2021. This photo was taken April 2022. © 2022 Google Maps

The high resolution image

Capture Date22-JUL-2005
LocationEast of Oykel Bridge, Scotland
CameraCanon AE-1 Program
LensCanon FD 28mm f/2.8
Image SourceFuji Slide Film
Digital Image SourceEPSON Perfection 4870 Photo
Digital Image Source FormatTIFF, 48 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions6508 x 4244 Pixels
Copyright© by Mark Zanzig/zanzig.com

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