A FORMER red telephone kiosk has been given a new lease of life.

A book exchange project in Old Basing was officially opened on Saturday by local children’s author Sue Lawrence.

Residents of all ages will be able exchange a book they no longer need for a new read.

The formerly dilapidated Pyotts Hill red telephone kiosk was adopted and refurbished by Old Basing and Lychpit Parish Council and with its new lease of life was relocated and now sits on the approach to the Old Basing Recreation Ground, adjacent to Oliver’s Battery.

The idea of a village book exchange came from local business owner, Laura Haystaff of The Topiary Salon.

She said: “I have seen book exchanges popping up in villages similar to ours and thought was a great idea for our own. We held an exchange before Christmas at our salon, and the idea carried from there.”

At the grand opening on Saturday, families were treated to a book reading from Sue, from Sherfield-on-Loddon who Harry. A Cat’s Tale, on the lawns of the recreation ground before cutting the ribbon to launch the village project.

Laura added: “With many thanks to the parish council for helping this come to fruition, I hope villagers will enjoy having their our own little library on their doorstep”

The community project will run annually from Easter to the end of October, and will continue to be sponsored by The Topiary hair salon and supported by the parish council.

For more information, visit the project’s Facebook page @OldBasingBookExchange.