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This is a post about phone boxes

You gotta feel for British Telecom: in this day of cellphones, there’s almost no need for public pay phones. The old boxes are expensive to maintain and operate at a grueling loss. They tried to replace the old red boxes with modern glass ones (emblazoned with a logo unaffectionately known as ‘the poof with the pipe‘) and there were riots.

And by riots, I don’t of course mean Baltimore-style toiletpaper-looting, CVS-burning riots. This is England. I mean dozens and dozens of people wrote very rude letters to the government written in green ink.

The upshot was that the phone boxes were slapped with protection orders. These days, they are quietly being decommissioned, when they can be prized away from the neighbors. Or recommissioned as something else — there’s one near here with a defibrillator in it. Fully renovated, they sell for thousands. There’s an interesting article about it here.

The article links out to — well, it would do, wouldn’t it? — the Trainspotters Gazette of kiosk sites. There’s a Kiosk of the Month, Profiles in Kiosks, the A-Z of Kiosks and kiosk articles rated by popularity.

The two favorites are K6 and K2, both designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (1880-1960) who also designed the Liverpool Cathedral, the Battersea power station (an iconic London landmark, now decommissioned and remade into fru-fru apartments) and Bankside power station (now the Tate Modern).

You’ll recognize the K6. It is THE red phone box. The domed roof is thought to have been modeled on the tomb of Sir John Soane in St Pancras Old Church.

Would I shit you? I would not.

Do have a browse. The site covers all of them — the tardis police box, AA sentry boxes (that’s Automobile Association, not Alcoholics Anonymous) and phone boxes from K1 (beige and cast cement) to the Poof with the Pipe (KX100).

That’ll give you something to think about for a while. Good weekend, y’all!

May 1, 2015 — 3:16 pm
Comments: 13