"RED TELEPHONE BOXES" England Local Custom Tip by DAO

England Local Customs: 129 reviews and 170 photos

They are starting to become harder to find. Nothing is as iconic as the British Phone Box. Needless to say, they don?t make them like that anymore. The red telephone box was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. They were designed to protect callers from the rain and to be easily seen. The first telephone kiosks were introduced by the Post Office and made from concrete in 1920 (called a K1). Many London Metropolitan Boroughs would not accept this and the Post Office held a contest in 1924 to make a better phone box.

The winning design was by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott who envisioned a silver coloured exterior. The Post Office saw red. Literally. The phone boxes were all made red and matched their letterboxes. This was accepted in London as K2.

Sir Giles stayed busy and designed K3 in 1930 made in concrete.

K4 was designed by the Post Office itself in 1927 and only 50 were built (please see my pictures to see one). They incorporated a post box and a machine that sold stamps. They are far larger than a standard phone box.

K5 (1934) was made from plywood and was used at exhibitions.

K6 (1935) was designed to celebrate the silver jubilee of King George V. Thousands were erected all across Britain and made the red telephone box a fixture in every hamlet, town and village. People were not too keen on the red colour at first.

K7 (1959) was experimental only

K8 (1968) Was the last of the red boxes.

KX100 This soulless horrible glass box was introduced by British Telecom after it was privatised and sold off from the Post Office. These can be seen blighting most communities in the UK today.


In 1952 Queen Elizabeth II decided to stop using the purely symbolic 'Tudor Crown' and instead use a representation of the actual crown used for coronations - the St Edward's Crown. New K6 models (1955) began to use this new symbol. In Scotland, they decided to use a representation of the actual Crown of Scotland.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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