Red Telephone box in the UK

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No doubt when you see a movie that plays off in London you will always see a red telephone box. So needless to say when I visited London for the first time it was something that I wanted to see. I also had to take a photo, buy a post card and a fridge magnet!They are all over the UK and you even find them in Malta, Bermuda, Gibraltar or ex-British Colonies (not in South Africa).

The first standard public telephone kiosk introduced by the United Kingdom Post Office was made in concrete (1920) and was called K1 (Kiosk No.1). This design was not of the same family as the familiar red telephone boxes. Very few remarkable examples remain. One shining example is located in Trinity market in Kingston-upon-Hull where it is still in use today.

The red telephone box is a public telephone kiosk and was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. He was one of three architects who won the competition to design the telephone box. He originally suggested that they be made of steel and coloured silver. The Post Office however decided to built them with cast iron and paint them red. The colour red was chosen to make them easy to spot.

From 1926 the red boxes were deployed across London and then countrywide.

But sadly the Red telephone box is dying a slow death with the introduction of cellular phones. Up to the 1980´s most people did not have a phone in their home and public phones were a necessity. People are not using the boxes as before because even children have cellphones!

You will often see a group of tourists posing for photos next to the box with the black receiver in hand. Then they proceed the send the photo on the mobile to Twitter or Facebook!

It is situated at the Royal Academy in London´s Piccadilly beneath the entrance arch. It is the original prototype and is made of wood. It became the template for all later red telephone box designs. Why not visit it next time when you are in London? Give it a knock, it really is made of wood!

Where: London,United Kingdom
When: April 2004

I have been fortunate to have done quite a bit of travelling over the last 10 years. By heart I am an adventurer and I love exploring new places, cultures and food. Travelling can become stressful and expensive. Over the years I have learnt to travel as cost effective as possible, simply by travelling more clever. Nelmitravel.com is a Adventure and Budget Travel site where I review Airlines, Accommodation, Transport, Restaurants and give helpful travel information.

25 Comments

  1. The city government should preserve some of these iconic phone booths. Maybe they can be converted into cellphone charging booths, but keep the rotary phones for posterity.

  2. It is definitely sad that these are becoming a thing of the past. It's near impossible to find a pay phone here in CA. I may just have to buy a booth and put it in my house… you know, when I have a house… after I become rich and famous. LOL.

  3. I can only hope it will still be there when I visit London in the future because it will be another century perhaps when I'm there. Hehehehe!I honestly want to try using that too and then pose for a picture and lastly, post it on my facebook wall.:) It should be fun! Thanks Nelieta for sharing some wonderful information about this red telephone box.:)XOXOXOXO

  4. I love that you provide so much historical background in your posts. It's really true…you learn something new every day! WHEN I go to London 🙂 I will most definitely do the same as you did…take a picture, buy a postcard and of course, a magnet! My best friend as a small telephone box keychain from her trip LOL

  5. Hi Nicole, thank you. The historical background fascinates me. I think that is mainly the reason why I visit these attractions. To learn more and to remember. It makes it so much more rewarding.I am not a shopaholic but the one thing I do buy is a magnet! I always buy something that has a special meaning and memory. Every day when I open my fridge something triggers a memory!I am happy to see you say WHEN – you have to keep the dream alive!

  6. Hi Rachel, that is so sad to hear! I had to use one at the airport about a year ago and you will not believe how difficult it was..mind you it was also in Spanish..lol! I am sure it would look beautiful in your new home, you know the one that you will own when you are rich and famous 🙂 Will you still be blogging?

  7. Hi Rachel, that is so sad to hear! I had to use one at the airport about a year ago and you will not believe how difficult it was..mind you it was also in Spanish..lol! I am sure it would look beautiful in your new home, you know the one that you will own when you are rich and famous 🙂 Will you still be blogging?

  8. Hi Jorie, you always make me smile! The next century..lol! No my friend I am sure if an opportunity presents itself you will be there before you coud even say the word "Go!".Ps. I would love to see that photo on facebook and I bet you will be thinking back to this blog when you take that photo!

  9. It is definitely sad that these are becoming a thing of the past. It's near impossible to find a pay phone here in CA. I may just have to buy a booth and put it in my house… you know, when I have a house… after I become rich and famous. LOL.

Thank you for visiting. Have a fabulous day!

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