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What makes Britain British?

Posted by allie1985 on November 5, 2008

 According to the Telegraph, phone boxes are now generally unprofitable and out dated,  but they are by no means under cherished in Britain.

BT has plans to get rid of the majority of phone kiosks, but the fact that they have given people the opportunity to “adopt” or “sponsor” a phone box has come as a welcome surprise.

Conservative lawmaker Alan Duncan has put his full support behind the scheme with the view to protecting an “iconic image in Britain”

“It goes with black taxis and double Decker buses. Both in rural and in urban areas the red box itself is seen as part of the local streetscape”

Incidentally Mayor of London Boris Johnson is putting double Decker buses back on London’s streets, claiming they “were never suited to London’s streets” and “that will once again give London an iconic bus that Londoners can be proud of”.

 The iconic red phone box

Sir Gilbert Scott, a British architect, first designed the box in 1924.  It was adapted several times before it became the box we know today. The current design is known as the K6, (kiosk 6) and was produced in 1935 to comemorate the silver jubilee of King George V.

Sir Gilbert Scot wanted the new k6 booths to be silver with an inside of “greeny blue”  to emphasise their relation to the silver jubilee but the post office would not allow it. They insisted they were painted red. The official Post Office colour.

The only place where the boxes were not painted red was Kingston upon Hull. There the boxes were painted cream because they were managed and owned by the Corporation of Hull instead of the Post Office.

 Collectors items

At one point there were around 70,000 phone boxes in use, but after technological advances they were decommissioned. Many were scrapped but somewhere bought by collectors and ended up in galleries and peoples gardens. Three thousand phone kiosks have been give the status of listed buildings, and are therefore a permant part of Britain.

What makes Britain British?pb060106

Red Phone Boxes

Red Double Decker Buses

Red Post Boxes

Black Cabs

The changing of the guard

Roast Beef with Yorkshire Puddings

Rain, lots of it.

Main article

Alexandra Murphy

(alexandra.murphy@my.westminster.ac.uk)

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