TOKYO-2017 Advertising / Self-Promotion

Police Boxes

  • Prize
    Bronze in Advertising/Self-Promotion
  • Photographer
    Douglas Vernimmen

Police Boxes have been used in the U.K. mostly during the 20th century. These were used as telephone boxes for the people who wanted to contact the main police office and as small offices for police officers filling reports and having lunch. They were also used for locking criminals until the police transport arrives. These are cast iron, originally blue, with a light on the top. Although a few remain in the U.K., Edinburgh has the most impressive collection, whereas only four, of a square shape, remain in Glasgow. Those of Edinburgh have a rectangular shape, and were designed by Ebenezer James MacRae. They were produced in 1937 at about 90 specimens across the city. Today, most of them still remain. The Lothian and Borders Police sold the first set in 2012, and the second set in 2014. Those located in strategic locations have been converted in mini shops, mainly coffee boxes. The others are not used, but get regularly repainted, sometimes with an artistic design like those found at Pleasance and Leith Walk. Others have been left without care. Most of them are located in central Edinburgh and a few others dispersed around the city centre.

Originally from Belgium, Douglas Vernimmen gained his Ph.D. at the University of Li├Ęge before coming to Oxford to continue his studies. He developed an early interest in photography, and his work has been selected in about a hundred salons of photography covering 50 countries from Asia to the USA. Douglas is currently based in the beautiful City of Edinburgh.