Timeline

The following timeline charts the development of the British public telephone network, the introduction of the different kiosks and other significant dates.

  • 1868 The Telegraph Act grants the Postmaster General (the office of the General Post Office) the right to acquire privately-owned telegraph companies
  • 1880 Giles Gilbert Scott is born on 9 November
  • 1884 Public telephone kiosks are introduced to British streets
  • 1891 The first Police telephone box is introduced in Glasgow
  • 1912 The assets of the majority of private telegraph companies reside with the General Post Office
  • 1912 The Automobile Association and Royal Automobile Club introduce their first sentry boxes for use by their patrolmen
  • 1917 Bruce Martin is born on 20 December
  • 1921 The first standard kiosk, the K1, is introduced
  • 1922 A revised version of the K1 - the Mk 235 - is introduced; Hugh Neville Conder is born on 30 April
  • 1923 A competition is organised by the Metropolitan Boroughs Joint Standing Committee to find a design for a new national kiosk
  • 1923 The Birmingham Civic Society produces independent proposals for a new national kiosk
  • 1924 The Royal Fine Art Commission establishes a new competition for a national kiosk, with three leading architects contributing designs; Giles Gilbert Scott is knighted on 22 July at Knowsley by King George V
  • 1925 The design by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott is recommended by the Royal Fine Art Commission in May; The General Post Office develops designs for a mini-Post Office based on Scott's design for the K2
  • 1926 The K2 kiosk, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, is introduced
  • 1927 The Mk 1 kiosk is updated with larger windows and new door, becoming the K1 Mk 236
  • 1928 The General Post Office commissions Sir Giles Gilbert Scott to design a new kiosk in reinforced concrete
  • 1929 The K3, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, is introduced
  • 1929 The K4 kiosk, an enlarged version of the K2 incorporating a stamp machine and postbox, designed by the General Post Office Engineering Department is introduced
  • 1929 The Metropolitan Police Service introduces the first Police telephone box in London
  • 1933 Manufacture of a small number of sample K5 kiosks, designed by the General Post Office Engineering Department
  • 1935 King George V celebrates his Silver Jubilee and to commerorate this the General Post Office commissions Sir Giles Gilbert Scott to design a new kiosk
  • 1936 The K6 kiosk, designed by Giles Gilbert Scott is introduced; 8,000 K6 kiosks are installed as part of the General Post Office's Jubilee Concession, which sought to make a kiosk available to all towns and cities with a Post Office
  • 1939 A Mark II version of the K6 kiosk is introduced
  • 1959 The General Post Office invites submissions for a new kiosk from leading architects Misha Black, Neville Conder and Jack Howe
  • 1962 Six experimntal K7 kiosks, designed by Neville Conder are installed in limited locations
  • 1960 Sir Giles Gilbert Scott dies on 8 February
  • 1963 The Gilbert Mackenzie Trench Police Box appears in the BBC science-fiction series 'Doctor Who' as the TARDIS
  • 1965 The General Post Office invites submissions for a new kiosk from leading architects Neville Conder, Bruce Martin and Douglas Scott
  • 1968 The K8 kiosk, designed by Bruce Martin is introduced on 12 July in Westminster
  • 1968 The Automobile Association starts decommissioning its network of sentry call boxes
  • 1969 The General Post Office, previously a Government Department is nationalised on 1 October becoming the Post Office
  • 1969 The Metropolitan Police Service starts decommissioning its network of Police telephone boxes
  • 1981 The Post Office is split into two separate businesses: the Post Office and British Telecommunications on 1 October, the latter responsible for the public telephone network
  • 1981 The last Metropolitan Police Service telephone box remaining in-situ is removed
  • 1984 The telephone network, part of the Post Office, is privatised by the Conservative Government on 12 April
  • 1985 British Telecom announces a £160 million modernisation scheme for the public telephone network
  • 1986 The first telephone kiosk is listed, a K3 kiosk outside London Zoo's parrot house
  • 2003 Hugh Neville Conder dies on 20 June
  • 2005 Our first Telephone Box website goes online on 29 July
  • 2006 A competition organised by the Design Museum and BBC Television to find Britain's favourite design icon since 1900, voted for by the general public, places the Telephone Box in the top ten, in March
  • 2007 Bruce Martin celeberates his 90th birthday on 20 December
  • 2008 British Telecom introduces an "Adopt a Kiosk" scheme
  • 2009 The first K8 kiosk received Grade II-listing on 8 July
  • 2011 The 1,500th telephone kiosk to be adopted under the "Adopt a Kiosk" scheme, by the Cotswold village of Lower Slaughter, is announced on 11 July; the K2 kiosk celebrates its 75th anniversary
  • 2012 British Telecom announces the sale of sixty surplus K6 kiosks; British Telecom confirms of the remaining 51,500 pay phones across the UK, some 11,000 are "traditional red phone boxes"
  • 2013 The Police telephone box celebrates fifty years in its role as the TARDIS in the BBC science-fiction series 'Doctor Who'

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