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Old telephone boxes may seem strange to children.

PostedCOLON Thu 18 May, 2017 8:34 pm
by Leodian
I saw some groups of children today (May 18 2017) in the centre of Leeds, each group with what was presumably a teacher. I was amused to see a teacher opening the door of one of the old red telephone boxes near the Art Gallery/Henry Moore Institute area so that the children could look inside and likely also to explain to the children what a phone box was used for! I would guess that to today's children brought-up with mobile phones it would seem very strange (unbelievable!) that people could use phones in those strange boxes!

Re: Old telephone boxes may seem strange to children.

PostedCOLON Thu 18 May, 2017 8:51 pm
by warringtonrhino
I rarely used the phones, but at college, we found a good use for the telephone directory.
At weekends the flatmates would split up into pairs and see how far they could hitchhike.
The competition started after Saturday breakfast and ended at 10pm on Sunday.
The winners were the pair that had traveled the furthest.
We took the title page from the local directory from inside a phone box. It didn’t stop the intended use of the directory but was a convenient way to prove that had been there.
That’s three things that have gone out of fashion, kiosks, directories and hitchhiking.

Re: Old telephone boxes may seem strange to children.

PostedCOLON Fri 19 May, 2017 10:13 am
by volvojack
Such a change in telephone habits what seems just a few years. At one time if you were stood outside a Public phone box which was in use you would, after a while move so that you would be in the view of the person inside and if the weather was wet , windy you might edge a bit closer. It was not unusual for the person inside to open the door and say " Do you mind, this is a personal call" etc.
Nowaday with a Mobile phone they carry on a conversation at the top of their voices on all types of subjects.
Recently on a night out i went to to use the Public Toilets and there was a man stood using his Mobile whilst stood at the urinal.

Re: Old telephone boxes may seem strange to children.

PostedCOLON Fri 19 May, 2017 10:34 am
by jma
"kiosks"

How many people would now even recognise the word? It's now thirty years since I was transferred to Force Control, (known to some as farce control) where, amongst other duties, we answered the 999 calls to the police from the whole of West Yorkshire. In that pre-digital area, the only way to find out where somebody was ringing from was to ask. OK if they were at home, more complicated if they were using a public phone where the location plate had been damaged, or if the caller couldn't read. We had a printed list of the locations and phone numbers of all the public phones in telephone boxes, but in an emergency, you need the location pronto. I soon stopped asking callers if they were in a kiosk when I realised that there were people who did not understand what I meant. And that was 1987, when there were still plenty of phone boxes all over the place.

Re: Old telephone boxes may seem strange to children.

PostedCOLON Fri 19 May, 2017 10:56 am
by volvojack
jma wroteColon"kiosks"

How many people would now even recognise the word? It's now thirty years since I was transferred to Force Control, (known to some as farce control) where, amongst other duties, we answered the 999 calls to the police from the whole of West Yorkshire. In that pre-digital area, the only way to find out where somebody was ringing from was to ask. OK if they were at home, more complicated if they were using a public phone where the location plate had been damaged, or if the caller couldn't read. We had a printed list of the locations and phone numbers of all the public phones in telephone boxes, but in an emergency, you need the location pronto. I soon stopped asking callers if they were in a kiosk when I realised that there were people who did not understand what I meant. And that was 1987, when there were still plenty of phone boxes all over the place.


Many years agoo whn i was lad we would be playing in the Beeston Streets and the box on the corner of Barkly Road would begin flashing. We would spllit up and race aroud to find the local Bobby on his beat who had to hurry and answer this call from the Station on Town Street. we took a pride in who could find him
The funny thing is that i don't remember the box being as big as the "Dr. Who" version but it was 70 years ago.

Re: Old telephone boxes may seem strange to children.

PostedCOLON Fri 19 May, 2017 12:23 pm
by blackprince
Sadly I never saw a police box with the blue light flashing but once had the opportunity to look inside the one outside Compton Road library . It was kitted out like a mini office with a small desk and chair ( or stool) a large ledger, a few pigeon holes/shelves and I suspect, most importantly, a hot ring and kettle. I seem to remember that the phone could be accessed via a small door on the outside of the box so that a member of the public could use it.

Re: Old telephone boxes may seem strange to children.

PostedCOLON Fri 19 May, 2017 3:27 pm
by volvojack
[quote="blackprince"]Sadly I never saw a police box with the blue light flashing but once had the opportunity to look inside the one outside Compton Road library . It was kitted out like a mini office with a small desk and chair ( or stool) a large ledger, a few pigeon holes/shelves and I suspect, most importantly, a hot ring and kettle. I seem to remember that the phone could be accessed via a small door on the outside of the box so that a member of the public could use it.

Thanks for that B.P. you have just reminded me that when the Light was flashing and we were runing around the streets usually one of us would open that small door, lift the phone and tell the officer at the end of the line that we were "On the case"

Re: Old telephone boxes may seem strange to children.

PostedCOLON Fri 19 May, 2017 4:32 pm
by volvojack
Have not used a Public Telephone box for years but my memories are that they had become awfully smelly places, usually with the directory's torn and thrown on the floor plus a smell as though someone had urinated in there.

Re: Old telephone boxes may seem strange to children.

PostedCOLON Fri 19 May, 2017 7:51 pm
by tilly
I remember when we were kids in the days of press button A for a call or button B for a refund we would stuff newspaper in the return coins chute and with a bit of luck when we went back and took out the paper we would get some coins.We had to be street wise if we wanted a bit of spending money.

Re: Old telephone boxes may seem strange to children.

PostedCOLON Sat 20 May, 2017 5:20 pm
by blackprince
This is the box I peered into as a child some 25 years after this photo was taken.
http://www.leodis.net/display.aspx?resourceIdentifier=2002815_86784000&DISPLAY=FULL

I notice the box was white concrete with a blue door. Also it was conveniently located next to a public loo and a bus stop.