Monday, 20 May 2013

INFORMATION - Useful 01 (for London) Phone Numbers

Following up my previous entry about the Post Office Tower, I now feel compelled to offer up this double-sided plastic information card of 'Useful phone numbers' for Londoners.

The original is 10 x 6.5 cms, and dates from c.1970. Judging by the illustration, and that the very first two numbers were for the Post Office Tower, it's highly likely that the card was distributed from within the building itself.

Even though several numbers are still active - here's an almost redundant collection of long-disconnected numbers for antique phone-based information services. Many of which I remember would often be rung, just to relieve a few moments of sitting-by-the-phone at home boredom.

I wonder if any of these Information Services recordings still exist in an archive? I've a hunch that they only live on in our memories...

And if I may continue to riff on this theme, and to roll on another decade - the Post Office and the telecommunications industry split - with The Post Office Tower being re-branded. Firstly as the 'London Telecom Tower', and then after the 1984 Privatisation, as the 'British Telecom Tower'.

There were other promotional gimmicks too:

In the early 1990s, I photographed this giant yellow British Telecom telephone-on-wheels, which had parked up behind the London Hospital in Whitechapel.

...perhaps an invisible giant was hoping to hear the 'recipe of the day', or was holding on for Bedtime Stories at 6 PM?

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