THE removal of a traditional red phone box in Meols has caused a furious backlash from fans of the world-renowned band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD).

Situated on Greenwood Road, the public call box which featured in the band’s track ‘Red Frame White Light’ has been removed from its spot by BT - without an objection from Wirral Council.

It had become a popular destination for OMD fans across the world to pay homage to their favourite band.

OMD frontman Andy McCluskey told the Globe: “I understand it’s no longer economic to have a telephone box in general but on a personal note it is sad to see it go.

“When I was a kid, we didn’t have a telephone in my house and this was the box I used to communicate with the world.

“Even our second single Red Frame White Light was based on this very box and it was the first place I received a call from my manager in May 1980 that we had our first top 20 hit single.

“It’s interesting because I believe Wirral Council wants to portray the borough as a cultural destination, when OMD fans had a gathering they visited this very phone box and when the council got wind of this they went and spruced it up with a lick of paint but now they are happy to see it go.

“I would like to try and track the box down and buy it. I’d either donate it back to the fans or if I can’t do that have it in my garden.

“If anyone knows where it is, please get in touch, but I don’t want any other box, just 632 3003.”

Wirral Globe:

BT contractors remove the payphone

Payphone operator BT contacted the council in 2016 and asked for views and comments on proposals to remove 26 payphones across Wirral.

There were objections to payphone removals in Eastham, Bromborough, Bebington and Irby but none made towards the Greenwood Road box.

Conservative candidate for Hoylake and Meols Andrew Gardner said: “OMD are a global band that many people in Meols are very proud of.

“For the town hall to fail to consult is a slap in the face to fans.

“The band have never forgotten their roots and fans from around the world visit Meols in tribute to their music.

“The council should recognise the cultural importance of music to Wirral and work with us to get this box back.”

Among the angry reactions on social media, Anja Minneman, who was travelling from Dusseldorf to Wirral in October said: “I had my tickets booked to come to Wirral with the chairman of the OMD fan club in Germany, including a visit to the 632 3003.

“My plans are ruined and I am so disappointed.”

A Council spokesman said: "Last year, Wirral Council received notification from BT that they wished to remove 26 public phone boxes located within the borough.

"Consequently, public consultations in relation to each of the phone boxes earmarked for removal were carried out.

"These consultations closed on January 13 this year.

"No objections were made against the removal of 19 of the 26 phone boxes, including the phone box located on Greenwood Road, Meols."