Our Northney telephone kiosk is a K6 or Jubilee Kiosk, so called because it first appeared in 1935, the year of King George V's jubilee. The K6 design was derived from an earlier K2 design for which Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, whose father designed the Albert Memorial, won a competition. Sir Giles Scott also designed Waterloo Bridge and Battersea Power Station.
Between 1925 and 1980 about 73000 kiosks were installed in the U.K (K 1 to K8) of which the K 6 was by far the most prolific at about 70000. They were also installed in The Isle of Man, Guernsey and Alderney (but not Jersey), Malta, Gozo, Gibraltar, Cyprus, Bermuda, Antigua, Barbados and the Falkland Islands. Since falling out of favour with B.T. they have also migrated around the world, most still used as telephone kiosks. The Americans love them; they are also to be found in Israel, Eire, Portugal, and Argentina. Note, these Argentinean kiosks were not liberated from the Falklands!
The colour red for which these kiosks are universally known was not originally all that popular and in many places the post office was forced to adopt a different colour to tone in with local conditions. They have appeared in yellow, black, blue, green and grey. Those in Cyprus and Eire were dark green and Guernsey's were yellow. Strangely almost all those now preserved are red, even the ones originally painted a different colour.
The crown that appears on the top of three of the sides of the kiosk is interesting. Until the reign of the present Queen the GPO, along with all government departments used the purely symbolic Tudor Crown. The Queen decided a more representative symbol of her government was required and chose The St Edward's Crown; the crown used at royal coronations. In Scotland the GPO opted for The Crown of Scotland along with other government departments. To accommodate this change the facia panels were henceforth cast with a slot where the crown was located and a plate with the appropriate crown was inserted before the section was fitted. This happened from 1955 and is very useful in dating kiosks.
Our kiosk has the Tudor Crown and while we suspect it dates from about 1936-9 it could be as recent as 1954 - does any one know when it was installed? Approximately 1,000 K6 kiosks were installed by Hull Corporation, later Hull City Council now Kingston Communications. These kiosks did not have the crown since Hull telephones have never been part of the GPO system. The kiosks were painted cream with green window frames. Jersey telephones have never been part of the GPO/BT system either.
The Village K6 is now owned and maintained by North East Hayling Residents Association. In a recent article in the Times newspaper, featuring Telephone Kiosks, it was pointed out that these kiosks may be worth in the region of £2000. While it is gratifying to think that we, the residents of North Hayling are in possession of such a valued and valuable artefact, it does introduce the risk of theft. In these days of such daring and implausible thefts we should remain ever vigilant. If any resident observes an 'official looking' working party removing our kiosk, you may safely assume that they are stealing it, and the police should be summoned immediately.
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