back to article Britain's iconic red phonebox turns 75

The most recognisable form of Britain's much-loved red telephone kiosk celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. Designed by English architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the British phonebox went through a number of tweaks in the 1920s and early 1930s, before the K6 model was introduced to commemorate the silver jubilee of King …


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  1. Guido Esperanto
    Thumb Up

    tatle, totle, tutle, tetle, tytle

    To the rank smelling, broken glass wreckage of a local phonebox....

    I salute you.

    thems were the days, cramming 3 people into a box to prank call people....if you were really lucky two of the mates would be gurls.

    If you were unlucky, some tw@t would hold the door shut....

  2. Nada


    Why have you illustrated an article about the K6 kiosk with a photo of a row of K2s?

  3. PJI
    Thumb Up

    These really are Mobile kiosks

    There are even a couple knocking around here in Zurich. At least one "English" pub has got one and I have seen others in other parts of Switzerland. I'm sureI saw one in New Zealand this year and one in Melbourne too.

    Good design is always in fashion. Why not adapt with "internet" displays for people just needing to do look up a timetable, search an online map or whatever who want something bigger to read than their mobile 'phone? And not all areas have got good or even any mobile reception, nor wireless hotspots.

    1. Youngone Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      @ PJI

      I'm pretty sure you did see one in NZ, although it may have been built by our Ministry of Works sometime in the last century. I'm not sure of the exact details, and the designs here may not be exactly the same, but red boxes used to be everywhere.

    2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

      wireless hotspots

      around here, the phone booths (not boxes) have been fitted out as wireless access points, providing another revenue stream for the biggest telco.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "go to a museum to stand in one. However, Londoners may find it's the only phonebooth in the city that hasn't been put into service as a urinal"

    that sounds like a challenge. Reminds me of the signs in a bathroom store advising that display models were not plumbed in.

    1. Velv Silver badge


      "advertise the amatory services of ladies of ill repute"

      I think Terry Pratchett's term is much more in keeping - "ladies of negotiable affection"

      1. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Uses

        Yeah, but at least we don't write the SAME BOOK over and over again.



        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Uses

          > the SAME BOOK over and over

          Not his fault that you keep reading the same book. He wrote different ones.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          same book


          give the guy a break - he can't remember what he wrote before.


          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            that was evil

            Funny, but evil. If I could wish his affliction onto someone else...hell, I'd take it myself.

  5. theBatman


    "With 11,000 K6 models still scatted throughout the country..."

    Was that a mistake? Please say it was!

  6. Adrian Jones

    And yet you don't mention the location of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott's original wooden prototype

    In the gateway of the Royal Academy, since you ask.

  7. b166er

    I briefly

    slept in one after getting stuck in Margate for the night ('till I found the railway station platform waiting room had a bar heater).

    Villagers should equip adopted ones with reasonably priced hotspots.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Ironic you should say that... th days of early portable mobiles (i.e. not car phones with a portable battery), I used to tell people you could get a better signal in a phonebox, due to the phone line being closer to the ariel.

      About 75% believed it!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There are plenty of these around Malta

    One of the nice surprises of my first break there, last year.

  9. Z80

    Adopt a kiosk

    In keeping with these retro phoneboxes, BT's Adopt a Kiosk site gives this quaint old-fashioned message when you try to start the application process:

    "Sorry, it looks like you are using a browser that is not compatible with this site.

    Please use Internet Explorer, or email for assistance."

    Well done BT.

  10. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

    but why....

    ... did Sir G.G. Scott design them with such a foul smell?

    Mines the one with the pocket full of leaflets for "professional women"

  11. JB

    Ah memories

    I remember one round the corner from us in the 70s, I would go round with my older brother and he'd let me put the 2p coins in so he could phone his girlfriend...had to get out of the box when the chat started, though! :)

    Many years later, in 1989, I remember walking along the same street and, to my horror, saw a crane lorry parked by the old red phone box, with one of those horrible open silver ones on the bed all wrapped in plastic. I've since moved to the States, and went back to visit recently...there isn't even a phone box there now.

    And that smell...yes! There's an 'English' pub here in Sacramento, California with one, and it has that signature smell inside!

  12. Aethelfred


    Yes, those are K2s in the top picture, still designed by Gilbert , but a decade earlier.

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