June 16, 2004
Telephone boxes

Those of you who live in UK might be aware that the dominant telecom company is a company called BT. The company was formed in the early 1980s from the privatisation of the UK General Post Office - Telephones division. The famous old traditional “red” telephone box has for many decades been a national icon - and in numerous places around UK there are preservation orders on them - usually in places of historical importance and heritage. However - modern telephone kiosks are much more in tune with 21st century communications - and these days they come in all shapes and sizes - and with many different features - e.g. broadband Internet, multi-currency, touch screens and keyboards etc.

Right outside the headquarters of the modern day BT - in the City near St. Pauls - is the a row of public telephone kiosks (or payphones as BT likes to call them). Being right outside the corporate HQ, as you would expect they are kept very clean and shiny - and almost certainly are never broken or faulty. And these days, like most telephone kiosks, they also carry advertising too. It seems that every public structure in London is an advertising opportunity.

Telephone kiosks right outside BT Headquarters in Central London.

Posted by jag at June 16, 2004 09:53 PM

Just wanted to say hi and thanks for all the words and pictures, which I’ve been enjoying for a while now. I’m gradually working my way through the archives - just reached ‘Searching for FUME’ last night and loved the way you’ve been dealing with all those extreme opinions. You’re quite a diplomat, and you did a service in opening that discussion in the first place. You’re exposing sides of London that too often go unnoticed, or are seen as insignificant, like those phone boxes outside the BT offices. I was at a busstop on Woburn Place this evening, and found myself gazing at the shiny new antenna-like structure in a Route79 kind of way, and wondering what it would look like in a museum in a hundred years’ time. Where do these thoughts go? Well, a blog is a pretty good place.

Thanks also for linking to my journal - I’m honoured!

Ralph (James Blogwell)

Ralph (James Blogwell)

Posted by: Ralph on June 16, 2004 10:59 PM

Hi Ralph - thanks for dropping by here! And no need: the linking honour is all mine; you have an interestingly compelling diary!

Yes - the FUME responses have been quite a test for me - I have learned that “art” is heavily influenced by an individual’s “interpretation” - but I also learned that “interpretation” itself has many different dimensions!

I really enjoy exploiting the “London” theme in this journal. Everything - every object, every person, no matter how fleeting a glance or commitment to brain cycles it might attract - has a story to tell. And one simply needs to create a story if it doesn’t jump out at you on it’s own. It’s surprising how much of a story-teller there is in us all! (I have to admit I have been muchly inspired by Pirsig’s “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” when it comes to telling a “rich” story from an observation so mundane.)

I often wonder how “blogs” of today will be viewed by future generations. It seems rather grandiose to think that they might be the modern form of “time capsule” - but whatever - it sure is fun keeping a diary that one can share with others around the world.

Cheers to you!

Posted by: Jag on June 16, 2004 11:41 PM

And it seems, Jag, that they are deviod of tart cards. What a shame. :)

Sat Sri Akal.

Posted by: Anon on June 25, 2004 12:55 PM

Sat Sri Akal anon, yes - they are completely devoid of the “cards” - but I can only assume that this is because they are right outside BT Headquarters! Yes - it would be a real shame on BT if they were covered in those cards! :-)

Posted by: Jag on June 25, 2004 09:55 PM

Oh gosh! You know what? I have just come across your blog by accident (link from Diamond Geezer’s blog) and I have come across this photo. I have worked for BT since 1991 and for many many years I have walked past these very phone boxes to get to my office in BT Centre (only of course the boxes have been revamped over the years). I am presently in exile (sniff!) in Brussels (since December, but still working for BT), and seeing this photo has made me really home sick. :-( Oh how I miss London!!! Keep up the good work, Jag.

Posted by: Miss Tra-La-La on June 30, 2004 06:12 PM

Hi Miss Tra-La-La - and many thanks for your comment. If you have worked at BT since 1991 - then it’s highly likely that we bumped into each other! I have visited BT Centre many many times - especially in the early to mid nineties. And as for Brussels - well I knew some of the staff based there too! Cheers!

Posted by: Jag on July 1, 2004 03:08 PM
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