The busy scene above looks like it could be something out of a film set. Have you spotted the telephone box on the left? There is something rather special about it. It was made in 1926 and incorporates not only a telephone box but also a stamp machine and a post box. There were only 50 of these combined boxes made and this particular one was once on a street in Bristol. When bought from the GPO it cost the heady sum of £10!
1. The post side of the box.
2. The stamp machine and letter box. Note the initials GR which signify that the box is from the time of King George V. The post box is still in use.
3. Inside the box there is an early type of pay phone with A and B buttons. The coins would be preloaded before the call. The minimum charge was 2d (2 old pennies). When the call was answered button A was pressed to allow the money to drop in. Should there be no answer then button B was depressed to get your coins back. I recall these phones but was too young to use one. I do remember being very worried that if I had to use one I wouldn't be able to sort out the buttons!
Pay phones were a big part of our growing up. Ringing home just once a week, queuing to use the phone as a student with your 10p at the ready. Getting your parents to ring you back to save money. Those were the days!
Can you remember when you last used a pay phone?