The time has come to part with my old Nokia mobile-phone. It will be recycled for charity. It served me well, from 1998 to 2011 when I took the giant leap to a smartphone. I had to stick the plastic buttons with sellotape and in later years the screen would sometimes fade out, but the good old phone never let me down.
I bought it when I was doing lots of rallies for the Ramblers’ right-to-roam campaign. It was a novelty then to be able to contact people when I was on the move, rather than stand for hours in a phone box, waiting to be phoned back for a radio interview, pushing money into the slot and hoping to have enough change to see me through the call. My phone came with a car-kit which was even more exciting. I was never out of touch with the world.
I feel a great fondness for the phone which saw me through the most exciting period of the access campaign; the rallies and events on forbidden moorland, the press conferences in village halls, the debates with landowners on TV and radio. The battery seemed to last for ever, the chunky shape had a nice feel and, with its bright-blue cover, the phone was hard to lose.
It was when I changed my car in November 2011, and realised that I would not be able easily to transfer the car-kit, that it dawned on me that I should move into the twenty-first century. And so I acquired this.
The Ramblers Cymru staff (and most other people) were ahead of me in upgrading their phones. When they did so they kindly sent me their old Nokias in case I needed to rifle their parts to keep my phone going. Thus I have accumulated a little clutch of Nokias which I shall now recycle, marking the end of an era.