Category Archives: Telecommunications

Police call posts

The standard UK police box was the one exemplified by the Doctor Who “Tardis”. This had a phone in an outside compartment for use by the public and the inside was a miniature police station where a copper could fill in reports, grab a meal break or even deploy as a cell to detain a suspect until assistance arrived.

These weren’t used in The City because they were too big.

Instead the “call posts” were used.

They had an unlocked compartment for the phone which the public could use to contact the police in event of an emergency. Below was a locked compartment containing a first aid kit.

The red light on the top was to notify a constable on the beat that there was a call from the station.

First introduced in 1907 there were 50 in the City and the last one did not go out of service until 1988 – which is interesting chronologically as it was 3 years after the introduction of the first London mobile phone network.

Eight survive and they are grade 2 listed structures!

  • Aldgate, outside St Botolph’s Church
  • Friday Street, at the corner of Queen Victoria Street
  • Guildhall Yard, off Gresham Street
  • Liverpool Street, east side
  • Old Broad Street, by Adam’s Court
  • St Martin’s le Grand, by the entrance to Postman’s Park
  • Victoria Embankment, south side, close to the City boundary dragons
  • Walbrook, close to the Mansion House