Old telephones and telephone directories were the subject of a lot of interest at the end of an engaging illustrated talk by Keith Watterson, A Story of the Telephone Kiosk.

Some of the early telephone boxes, or offices, were quite ornate, elaborate affairs. Keith outlined their development, including the iconic 1935 K6 telephone kiosk designed by Giles Gilbert Scott, who also designed Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral. Although modern designs were introduced, it is the K6 that people are most familiar with these days. The ubiquitous mobile phone has, unfortunately, driven an icon off many of our streets, but old telephone boxes have proved to be very collectable, and it is surprising what uses some of them have been put to.

Keith told stories of his own involvement with telephone services and explained the technical reason for 999 becoming the emergency call number. His talk led on to a lengthy question and answer session with discussion continuing over the essential cups of tea and pieces of cake.