Saturday, 7 December 2013

CURIOUS STREET FURNITURE - Telephone and post boxes

Centre  of  the  Kingdom


A village which claims to be the centre of the British Isles has  support from both the National Grid and British Telecom.   The 100,000th payphone box stands on the village green at Dunsop Bridge, a very pretty village in the Lancashire Hill country.  This modern kiosk was sited there in 1989 to commemorate the fact that this is the nearest village to the centre of the Kingdom.   It is surrounded by a small garden and five wooden posts bearing the directions, north, south, east and west, and the National Grid reference SD 63770 i.e  the centre of the British Isles.  








White  telephone  boxes


Our traditional red telephone boxes have now been replaced in many places by ultra modern kiosks.   However, in the East Riding of Yorkshire many of the old traditional boxes are still very much in evidence but painted white as always.   This is due to the fact that the district’s telephone company, Kingston Communications, has remained private.






A  green  telephone  box


A telephone box which was at the centre of controversy in 1993 is situated on the North York Moors near Helmsley, North Yorkshire.

In 1935, local landowner, The Earl of Faversham, ordered that the red telephone box at Fangdale Beck in Bilsdale be painted  green  to fit in with the rural backdrop of this very picturesque area.    This particular box was designated a Grade 2 listed building in 1990, not to be touched without express planning, because of its historical and architectural interest.

In 1993 the box was severely vandalised and British Telecom replaced it with what was described by a local resident as ‘a shower cubicle’.   B.T claimed that they had had no alternative but to replace the old box with a modern kiosk to maintain its service.   Not so said Northallerton Magistrates’ when they fined B.T £3,000 with £750 costs, for flouting planning and conservation laws.

The original telephone box was replaced by an identical model – painted green.





A  Police  telephone  box


The old blue Police Box was once a familiar sight on the corner of our streets, have mostly disappeared with advancing technology.  A nice example still in regular use, can  be seen on the sea front at Scarborough in North Yorkshire.   Also immortalised  as Dr Who’s TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space).

 Harbourside, Scarborough

Post Boxes
Traditionally our red post boxes bear the Royal Cipher and examples can still be seen in our streets bearing the cipher's of Queen Victoria, King Edward V11, George V and V1 and of course our present Queen.

It is said that there are some 14 Victorian post boxes still standing in Cheltenham in Gloucester. A nice example can be seen at the side of the Evesham Road alongside Pittville Park.
Evesham Road, Cheltenham
However, boxes bearing the cipher of King Edward V111 are quite rare. He reigned for only eleven months in 1936 when Constitutional difficulties arose and before he was actually crowned, he abdicated and subsequently become the Duke of Windsor.
A red  pillar box to be seen in St Michael’s Lane, at Scarborough in North Yorkshire, bears the cipher of King Edward V111.


St Michael's Lane, Scarborough 












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