"Red Phone Boxes" London Local Custom Tip by grandmaR

London Local Customs: 717 reviews and 883 photos

  Bob waiting for the Big Bus with phone box in back
by grandmaR

Even with the advent of cell phones, the red phone boxes are still familiar sight on London streets. I walked down the street a bit in order to get this one into the picture.

I did not realize that originally, the designer Giles Gilbert Scott intended the phone boxes to be silver with a greeny-blue interior. Maybe they were red to go with the red post boxes (since the post office also administered the phone system in those days.)

There are main two types. This one is the smaller K6 ?Jubilee Kiosk? made of cast iron starting 1936 (with raised crown & irregular windows) were sited in the whole country.

The larger (taller and heavier) K2s that remain (with cut-out crown & regular windows) are now listed 'buildings'. These first ones dating from 1926 were introduced in Metropolitan Boroughs.

The K2 was to replace the K1 which were made of pre-cast reinforced concrete with a pyramidal roof topped with a ball. The only London survival of the K3 is apparently by the Parrot House in London Zoo, and not many of K7 or K8 survive either. No mention is made in the website of K4 or K5.

Website: http://www.glias.org.uk/news/198news.html#B

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 21, 2005
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