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Glasgow police boxes get an inside job by Java Coffee

Glasgow police boxes get an inside job by Java Coffee

Two of the remaining category B-listed police boxes have been given a makeover by Java Coffee.

Starting with the box at Botanic Gardens, owner Sonya Bhogal is on a mission to dish out the best coffee in the city.

The wee cafe will initially be open from 8am - 6pm every day of the week and another will open on Wilson Street in mid December.

And much to the delight of Dr Who fans out there, the shops will be themed around the show's iconic tardis with memorabilia and a flashing police light.

  (STV)
via STV via STV

From cuffs to coffee

Sonya was a housing officer down south, but decided it was the perfect time to follow her dream and open the new coffee stations when she moved to Glasgow.

"The Botanic Gardens police box used to be a coffee shop, but it closed just before the Commonwealth Games which I thought was a bit of a waste.

"We used to walk past the police box at the Botanic Gardens all the time and it always lay empty so thought it would be a good idea to create a brand of coffee shops," Sonya said.

The venue will be dishing out locally sourced coffee, sausages, hot dogs, soup, bread, croissants and pan au chocolate plus ice cream and milkshakes during summer.

Sonya will look for skilled coffee workers on Jobs and Business Glasgow, who have been made redundant or are unemployed.

"Although we will have our venue in the west end, we won't be charging west end prices for our food and drink and we will be offering vouchers and discounts for students.

"We think we have something for everyone from those on their way to work to anyone looking for a quick lunch.

"I'm really not into instant coffee and cheap teabags; all of our brews will be top brands with a mix of unusual flavours.

"We will have fair trade orange hot chocolate and we will be infusing our coffees and chai lattes with cinnamon and gingerbread for the winter.

"We are making sure that we keep away from cheap brands; we're all about quality at Java Coffee."

What about the other boxes?

There were 323 police boxes throughout Glasgow from 1929 until the mid 1930s - one for every six constables in the city.

The boxes were fitted with technology that allowed police officers to keep in touch from their station as well as being kitted out with a small first aid box.

As radio communication advanced, the police boxes started disappearing in the 1970s and have sat unused since 1995.

Many appear to have been moved to museums across the country including the Kent Police Museum, Grampian Transport Museum and the Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings with five remaining in Glasgow.

A private owner purchased the remaining Glasgow boxes in 1994 as he felt they were an important part of history having been designed by a Scot.

The Botanic Gardens box is being used as Java Coffee venues while the Buchanan Street Box is currently owned by Cocktail and Burger owner Colin Barr who uses it as GoPublic Cafe.

Go Public takes its caffeine fix to Buchanan Street

Read More

The Cathedral Square box is used as a meeting point for bus tours, while the Sauchiehall Street one is owned by Newsquest who use it to distribute the Evening Times and The Herald.

London Road is owned by Glasgow City Council as a base for Police Scotland, making it the most traditional use out of all the boxes.

There are also plans for a box to be restored at St Enoch's Square next Spring based on the original 1929 Gilbert McKenzie design.

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