Saturday, 9 October 2010
It's a Police Box!
I've not seen many original period photos of Police Boxes, so thought this was worth sharing. As ever, it's started me off on an internet stumble ('search' is far too a methodical term).
Find about about the history of Police Boxes on wikipedia here, with good links as ever.
By 1953 there was a network of 685 blue police telephone boxes in London, as well as others throught the country.
Each kiosk contained a telephone linked directly to the local sub-divisional police station. Officers from beat patrol could report their whereabouts from them without having to make carefully timed meetings with their Sergeants at fixed points, and the flashing light could indicate to the patrolling officer that he was required to make contact with the station.
The interiors of the boxes normally contained, for the use of officers; a stool, a table, brushes and dusters, a fire extinguisher and a small, (often very inadequate,) electric fire.
They played an important part in police work until the mid 1960s, when they were phased out following the introduction of personal radios. In 1997 a replica police box was erected at Earls Court, equipped with closed circuit TV.
What did surprise me is the variety of shapes and sizes (check out this site here).
See also the news from 2002 when the Beeb successfully managed to retain the copyright on the design, here.
[Image stolen from the Metropolitan Police Site - don't tell them!]