‘That is so cool!’ British red phone box becomes perfect tack room

  • Is this the coolest tack room you’ve ever seen?

    It’s the creation of British-born Sarah O’Hanlon, and it stands proudly in her home in Virginia, US, from where it has caught the attention of thousands. Sarah posted pictures of her unconventional tack room on social media, in a post that has been liked by more than 11,000 people and shared hundreds of times.

    “I had no idea it would blow up so much,” Sarah told H&H.

    Sarah explained that she bought the phone box, an aluminium replica made from the mould of an original British one, over a year ago.

    “I’d wanted one for so long but never got one so I decided to buy it for my birthday,” she said. “It’s been so much fun; some people visit and get their picture taken in it, others are more ‘Why do you have one’, or ‘Does it smell like wee?’ No, it doesn’t, nobody’s weed in it! It was a lifelong goal; I thought ‘I’m not getting any younger, I’m doing it’.”

    The question then was what to do with it, Sarah said; she considered some uses to which others had been put, such as a wine store, but was not inspired.

    “I have a horse farm but no tack room, so I had my saddles in the foyer,” she said. “It was no big deal but I wanted a home for them that would allow me to use my foyer as a foyer – and I suddenly wondered if they would fit [in the phone box].

    Picture by Sarah O’Hanlon

    “It was a random idea and I thought ‘What the heck, I’ll try’. So I dismantled the rack and stuck it back up, put the hooks on, put it all in there and thought ‘That is so cool’! It looks great.”

    Sarah said the phone box is made of aluminium, so it weighs about 650lbs rather than the 2,000lb originals, which “you’d need a crane to lift”.

    The replica is still heavy enough to deter thieves, who would also be stumped as it is so wide, she had to take doors off to get it to where it is. And as it was made from an original mould, all the original irregularities can be seen.

    Sarah added that she was born in Guildford, Surrey, and her early riding career was on donkeys thanks to her mother’s passion for them, and moved to the US when she was eight.

    “My mum was so excited to see the phone box,” she said. “But on the day it came, my birthday, she wasn’t feeling well. I took her to hospital that morning, and she never came home, so she missed seeing it by a few hours. That breaks my heart. But I think of her every time I see it.”

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