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Apr 302012
 
An Edinburgh police box stands outside the Shakespeare pub in Edinburgh.

by Jennifer Sawyer

An Edinburgh police box stands outside the Shakespeare pub in Edinburgh.

Every fan of the popular television show Doctor Who has at one time or another dreamed of owning their own TARDIS.  Some have gone so far as to build their own from plans found on the internet – but what’s a Whovian without a workshop or a certain finesse with power tools to do?  The city of Edinburgh has the answer. This week they’re putting up 22 of their blue police boxes up for auction. Now’s your chance to own a real police box, and help the city of Edinburgh fight crime at the same time.  City architect Ebenezer MacRae designed the  boxes between 1931 and 1933, and they could be seen on many street corners throughout the 1930’s.

The now obsolete blue boxes were once uses as police kiosks, newspaper stands and small businesses. The Edinburgh police consider the boxes to be surplus and rising maintenance costs have led to at least 22 of them being sold at auction beginning later this week.

Bids will be accepted until May 31, 2012 at 12 noon. The auction has no set starting price and the highest bidder wins.  Winners will have two weeks to either paint their prize some color other than the popular police blue or move it – not an easy task considering that the Edinburgh police kiosks are actually made of metal, not wood, and having a rectangular footprint rather than the square one of the Glasgow style more familiar to Doctor Who fans, weighs nearly two tons. Edingurgh police remain optimistic about the auction and its profits.  A successful outcome could pave the way for more boxes to be sold. Proceeds from the sale will be given to the Force Capital Investment Program.

You can view the for-sale boxes at the following locations: Cowgate, Cranston Street, Croal Place (Albert Street), Dalkeith Street, Joppa, Drumsheugh Gardens, Easter Road, Hunter Square, Lawnmarket, Magdala Crescent, Market Street, Marshal Street, Melville Drive, Newbattle Terrace, Newcraighall Road (Wisp), Princess Street (West End), Quality Street, Regent Road, Rutland Square, The Shore, Leith, Whitehouse Loan, West Register Street, Whitepark and Gorgie.  Each box will be clearly marked with a FOR SALE sign.

The name TARDIS is a registered trademark of the British Broadcasting Corporation, but paradoxically is also an official part of the English language and appears in the most recent edition of the Oxford Unabridged English dictionary, meaning specifically a Time And Relative Dimensions In Space time/space travel vehicle, or secondarily, anything that appears to be bigger on the inside than on the outside.

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