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The webmaster, Pat Cryer, as a young child

Police boxes in Britain
in the mid 20th century

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Old police box, Tardis style

Old police box, Tardis style, photographed at Chatham dockyard.

A common sight on the streets of Britain while I was growing up in the 1940s and 1950s were phones specifically for the use of police. They were in blue boxes, known as 'police boxes'.

Police phone box, common on the streets of the UK in the 1940s and 50s, looking like Dr Who's Tardis

Tardis-style police box, detail of a screen shot from an old film.

The most noticeable ones looked just like Dr Who's Tardis. In fact making the Tardis look like a police box made a lot of sense back in the 1960s when Dr Who was first screened, because no-one thought it at all strange to come across a police box, and yet only the police, with their special key could get inside. (Members of the public could, though, reach the phone through a small door to get straight through to the police in an emergency.)

Not all police boxes were like the Tardis. Some were stands with a phone in a key-operated box, set at an easy-to-use height, as shown in the photo below.



One of several types of police phone box, 
		common on the streets of the UK in the 1940s and 1950s

Another style of police box, detail of a screen shot from an old film.

If you can add anything to this page or provide a photo, I would be pleased to hear from you.

Pat Cryer, webmaster

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This website Join me in the 1900s is a contribution to the social history of everyday life in 20th century Britain from the early 1900s to about 1960, seen through personal recollections and illustrations, with the emphasis on what it was like to live in those times.