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K6 & other GPO Telephone Boxes

Started by david@london, April 26, 2012, 02:54:29 PM

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here's a piece from today's edition of The Guardian [UK] newspaper about BT selling off some more of our lovely K6 telephone boxes. if i had my way they'd all be put back in our streets, country lanes etc

i was wondering what international shipping costs would be, but tom jones has already found out : £50,000 from south wales to california ...........

"Thursday 26 April 2012

Red telephone kiosks have been used as libraries, sculptures, stores for life saving medical equipment and have even provided a storyline for The Archers. But now you can buy one of your own, as BT has decided to sell off decommissioned boxes for the first time in more than 25 years.

The company is selling 60 traditional "K6" boxes, which have been fully refurbished and resprayed in the original red and black livery, for £1,950 plus VAT and delivery.

The K6 was introduced in 1936 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the coronation of King George V, and by the end of production in 1968 there were nearly 70,000 nationwide. It was designed by architect Sir Giles Scott who was also responsible for Battersea power station, the building that now houses London's Tate Modern, and Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral. Although the Royal Fine Arts Commission endorsed Post Office red as the standard colour, Scott disapproved, recommending that the outside of urban boxes be painted silver and rural kiosks dove-grey.

BT sold off thousands of the boxes to private buyers in the mid-1980s, and since 2008 has sold a further 1,800 to local communities for just £1 each through its Adopt a Kiosk scheme. This has seen boxes transformed into art galleries, public libraries, exhibitions, information centres and fitted with life-saving defibrillation machines, while villagers from Shepreth in Cambridgeshire even turned their kiosk into a one-night-only pub named the Dog and Bone.

Now just 11,000 of the 51,500 public kiosks remain as traditional red boxes, and a spokesman for BT says the number is likely to reduce gradually in line with demand.

While the asking price may seem a bit steep for what is effectively a cast iron box with a teak door, buyers will be getting a bargain compared to the £50,000 singer Tom Jones is reported to have paid for a kiosk to be shipped over to his mansion in California.

The kiosk, originally sited on the corner of Laura Street in Treforest, near Pontypridd, south Wales, was the one from which he first chatted to his future wife Linda. He said: "We didn't have a phone in our house back then so I spent hours every night in the call box.

"It was a call in that very box that I learned I had become a father, and once when it rang in the States I found out I was a grandfather."

Potential buyers should call 01636 61110 or place an order with X2 Connect. Those who miss out on the 60 kiosks currently available will have the option to bid for full-size fibreglass K6s decorated by artists as part of the BT Art Box exhibition during June and July."


I think that I have only ever seen one of these in person.  It is in the Chicago suburb of Glenview, not far from where I used to live: link.


< edit 05-18-21 : linked image attached >


That's funny, I thought the old K6 boxes were "Listed buildings", meaning they can't be sold off to anyone and removed from their locations.... ???


larry -

i like that photo, with its sign for bj liquors.

...... i was looking at the k6 entry on wiki-pedia, and Glenview, Illinois is mentioned as having a few of them, along with the university of oklahoma.

2cvb -

according to w/pedia, 2000 are listed so i suppose any others can be disposed of.
very good entry that - shows one design, K4, with an in-built machine for selling postage stamps.


There's also one in Rowley, MA -- on the way to one of the large local flea markets.

It's been a real treat to pass it in the dark and see it illuminated by the headlights when planning to arrive at the flea market before dawn.
Visit:         WE  500  Design_Line



brilliant !   that could almost be a road in sussex/essex, england.  and someone there is a very good gardener.

meanwhile, anyone for a 360 degree virtual tour of a K2 phone box ? .............


edit : this link was crashed but seems to be working again now after dave z's forum re-vamp.


The fun part there is if you zoom in on the telephone, you can see the phone number, so you could ring it if you wanted... :D


fake number, - "the number you have dialled has not been recognised..."
"now this should take five minutes, where's me screwdriver went now..?"


Weird, unless BT has blocked incoming calls to that number, but just to be sure, I can see it as 0207 823 3610, I'm just too cheap to try and dial it (though I do have many, many minutes on my mobile, so I could, if I wanted to!!)... :D



K6 telephone kiosk in Bungay, Suffolk  (27/5/12).... i like the pink "pull" sign on the door.


Quote from: david@london on May 29, 2012, 07:36:42 AMi like the pink "pull" sign on the door.

I think that it used to be GPO red, but has oxidised over the years of not being repainted... :D


Do they use Plexi (you guys call it somthing different I think) for unbrekable windows in some of these booths? Looks like the clear panel over the pink pull ign has been melted by something?



yes Terry, they are plexi-glass  panels with right-angled edges (like shoe box lids) which are held in place with screws. people do tend to scratch graffiti into them & burn them.

i'm pretty sure that originally the windows were plate glass, but these plexi panels are at least very quick to replace.



we are in diamond jubilee mode here. i live right on the route of the royal fly-past & have just seen a world war 2 Lancaster, a Hurricane, a Spitfire & various other planes flying over my house.

here is a rather patriotic phone box in Walberswick, Suffolk.

Doug Rose

Quote from: paul-f on April 26, 2012, 06:25:04 PM
There's also one in Rowley, MA -- on the way to one of the large local flea markets.

It's been a real treat to pass it in the dark and see it illuminated by the headlights when planning to arrive at the flea market before dawn.
Paul.....Only if you take the short cut! We just saw it last year after many years of driving to Todd Farm....Doug