Thursday, 10 December 2015

Telephones Boxes I have known ............. part 5 signs and a story

Now I am part of that generation that grew up with the gas board, travelled on British Railways and trusted the Post Office to deliver both my mail and connect my telephone calls.

And despite the so called bright new dawn of competition which came in the 1980s I still hanker for those old public utilities.

I accept that some needed improvement particularly when it came to customer relations and the British Rail sandwich was indeed dire, but there was a lot to be said for a national service owned and funded by the country.

All of which is an introduction to the National Telephone Company which lasted for just thirty years and spanned the years when the telephone came into its own.

It been established in 1881 with the aim of to developing and operating telephone services in Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Ulster and parts of Scotland and by degree bought up other regional companies.*

Finally in 1912 the Post Office took over the NTC and its telephone systems.

It is a story I was only vaguely aware of and so I have David Harrop to thank for setting me off on this little bit of telephone discovery which came about when he shared these enamelled telephone signs dating to the early years of the last century.

I suppose given what I have already said my favourite has to be the Post Office one but there is something equally attractive in the N.T.C., sign with its blue bell.

David tells me that the Avoncroft Museum near Broomsgrove has the National Telephone Collection which contains 32 telephone kiosks,  including every type used from 1912 to the present day. **

Now that will make for a fascinating visit and just adds stories of ttelephone boxes I have known.***

Pictures; from the collection of David Harrop

* National Telephone Company,

**Avoncroft Museum,

***Telephone Kiosks,

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