Red Box Obsession

I’m a woman obsessed—not with Sir Giles

Gilbert Scott but certainly with his creation. The Red telephone box. I believe they are adorable, quintessentially British, traditional and one of our most recognised symbols remaining.

Established as a designer, Scott has a number of achievements to his belt that include Liverpool Cathedral and repair work to the Houses of Parliament (resultant from WWII). But his little telephone boxes are special in my book.

Introduced to London streets in 1926 they were only erected elsewhere under special circumstances. Only 1500 original K2 kiosks were made and only a scarce few remain today. They bore the Royal crest of King George V formed from a series of holes to provide ventilation. This style of kiosk are older and larger than the more widely used K6 telephone box and are very rare these days.

The Post Office was once responsible for public telephone boxes and in 1935 commissioned Scott to design a new kiosk to celebrate the Jubilee of King George V. The K6 Jubilee Kiosk, similar to the K2, in that’s its produced from cast iron and painted red was 25% lighter than the original  that hah weighed a ton.

By the 1930s there were 20k K6 kiosks.

Vandalism hit in the 70s and 80s and in conjunction with the aging process and a failure to repair the decline of this classic sight commenced.

2000 red boxes remain listed buildings.

We know where many ended up. Loved and repurposed for film and other such exciting happenings.

Re-purposed uses of these amazing spaces include mini community libraries, and houses for defibrillators. Two cool, modern concepts that keep these adorable spaces going and preserved.

By Donna Siggers