Telephone box explosion is 'devastating' for village community

Oving residents have told of their horror after an explosion in a valued community amenity.

Thursday, 27th December 2018, 3:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 11:01 am
The telephone box in High Street, Oving

Community watch member Terry Parsons, 70, lives opposite the telephone kiosk which is used as a book exchange and a food produce exchange in the summer.

Terry was in his living room when the explosion happened: "Suddenly there was a loud pop. My wife thought it was a car crash and I thought she had fallen over upstairs.

Damage to a postbox in Smugglers Lane, Bosham - Eddie Mitchell

"We could see smoke coming from the telephone box. It blew the door open and blew a window out that went right across the street. No fire, just smoke. I've been clay pigeon shooting before and it smelled like gunpowder.

"It's a library. People take books out and in the summer it's a produce swap. I was quite shocked — in a very quiet village like Oving we've got an explosion across the road.

"Just below the book level a lot of stuff was destroyed."

Chairman of Oving Parish Council, Sjoerd Schuyleman, 75, said the explosion was 'devastating' for the community.

The telephone box in High Street, Oving

He said: "The are a lot of people, particularly elderly people who depend on having books that they read and replace. It's scary and comments on Facebook have illustrated that. The fact that a number of locals turned up last night — they were horrified this amount of damage being done and they are going to be scared.

"What a shame we didn't have any CCTV system in there. The following explosion was in Runcton at 12.06, I mean, that's doable but it's frightening to say the least to think that someone might have done it on purpose. I'm horrified."

Sjoerd called the postbox scheme a 'fantastic' amenity for the residents but said it would affect them now people can't get books from the telephone box.

"It's a horrendous incident. It's unthinkable. What are they going to gain from blasting a telephone box?"

Damage to a postbox in Smugglers Lane, Bosham - Eddie Mitchell
The telephone box in High Street, Oving