A PC Harry Stiles in Powis Square

Being less than “au fait” with boy bands since the Osmonds were top of the pops “Harry Who?” was the present writer’s first reaction when informed that the blue police box which had appeared in Powis Square was part of a set for the latest foray into cinema by Harry Stiles the famous singer, songwriter, actor (and social commentator). Rather than being a prop for another Doctor Who series the blue police box was helping recreate 1950s Brighton for a film in which Stiles plays the role of a police constable. The “Police Box Mk2” seen replicated here was designed (boy band fans need read no further) by the Scottish architect Gilbert Mackenzie Trench and between 1929 and 1938 about 1,000 were installed. By 1969, however, they were considered redundant, and decommissioning began. Now Grade II listed, just two or three of the original concrete and timber Mk2 boxes remain on the streets of England (others are to be found in Scotland). The K6 red telephone boxes on the right of the picture, by the way, were saved from dereliction in 2018 by the Little Mustard Shop of Clifton Hill and are themselves Grade II listed. These are maintained as an artists’ exhibition space but were transformed for the film into appearing as working telephone boxes. The film “My Policeman” starring Harry Stiles and Emma Corrin which is based on the 2012 novel by Bethan Roberts, is expected to be in cinemas sometime next year.

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