Blue police boxes became a familiar and re-assuring site on many UK city streets from the 1930s onwards but there main claim to fame is as the outer shell of the TARDIS
(Time and relative dimension in space) time machine in the BBC’s long-running Doctor Who science-fiction series.
Lothian and Borders Police announced on April 29 that its remaining 20 street sited police boxes would be put up for individual sale reports BBC Scotland
. There is no fixed price for each ‘Tardis’ but offers from interested parties will need to be submitted to Lothian and Borders Police’ property department by 12 noon on May 31, 2012.
As part of any sale, a successful purchaser will be required to pay a £100 sales fee and will be responsible for either removing their newly purchased police box or applying to the local council for planning consent to leave their police box in place. Moving an old police box will require some effort as each weighs in at around two tonnes. If a police box remains on the street, buyers will be under an obligation to change its colour to something other than the familiar dark blue.
Earlier sales of some former police boxes have already taken place in Scottish cities with old police boxes sometimes ending up as garden ornaments. One is even currently in use as a street sited take-away outlet selling curries and related dishes.
Recognising that technology had now moved on and that police forces no longer required a reliable ‘safe-haven’ on city streets to use the telephone, Sara Griffiths, Lothian and Borders Police property manager, said:
"When these boxes were introduced they would have proved invaluable to officers, but as technology and policing methods evolved a number of them have now become obsolete.
"This is a great opportunity for collectors to snap up a unique piece of Edinburgh, and policing, history."
Anyone interested in purchasing a former Edinburgh police box should contact City of Edinburgh Council Services for Communities Department.
The Edinburgh police box sale is sure to generate interest amongst Doctor Who fans but the eagle eyed may consider that the Edinburgh Tardises differ materially in design from that of the BBC’s Time Lord and may not, therefore, be viable as time machines. The Edinburgh boxes were specifically designed for the streets of the Scottish capital by Edinburgh city architect city Ebenezer MacRae
between 1931 and 1933.