Kingstonians have defended the Cath Kidston Christmas revamp of the town’s famous falling down telephone boxes sculpture.

Artist David Mach was on the brink of legal action after his “Out of Order” piece in Old London Road was decorated with white polka dots, although he later decided not to pursue the case.

But responding to the Surrey Comet’s front page last week, members of Facebook group “Original Kingston Upon Thames No Fakes” came out largely in favour of the campaign, organised by town centre managers Kingstonfirst.

Rita Harrison wrote: “I liked it better when it did have spots on .. maybe it should be like the brussells [sic] boy and tarted up now and again”.

She later added: “Personally I don't mind the boxes, be nice to see something a bit different on them now and again, like the spots .. it does make you stop and look twice rather than just walking past them".

Surrey Comet:

Our front page story on the phone box fall-out

David Mills agreed, saying: “The Cath kitson [sic] spots were the first time I smiled at that rather than shook my head at the wasted money and opportunity”.

And Kellie Pocock wrote: “It was in keeping with the season and done by a proper artist”.

But others felt Kingstonfirst should have told Mr Mach about its plans before it painted the phone boxes.

Commenting on the story on the Surrey Comet's own Facebook page, Leslie Ian Jones said: "The artwork might not be to everyone's taste, but at least be polite in asking the artist first."

And Philippa Willes said: "I boycotted the advertiser's store this Christmas.

"I thought this was very disrespectful to a piece of iconic public art.

"Wondering if KingstonFist (sic) have thought about adorning the gilded Queen Anne statue in the Market Place with a Ferrero Rocher label? They are really spoiling us."

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