The Phone Boxes of West Hallam and Mapperley
K6 Telephone box, Mapperley
The GPO was broken up in 1984 and the telephone part of the business was privatised as British Telecom. The new company set about modernising its equipment and began to remove the K6 boxes, replacing them with newer types which were less pleasing to the eye, poorly designed and soon looked shabby.
The final nail in the coffin of the public call box is the rise of the mobile phone. Decreasing use and a vast dip in profits have led BT to close more and more kiosks without replacing them. Many of the K6 boxes have been sold – the going rate is about £2000. Some boxes have been saved in their original locations by the “Adopt a Kiosk” scheme which was set up to allow local groups to convert them to house defibrillators, tourist information or to act as small libraries.
There are three working phone boxes in West Hallam, all of the post-1984 design. They all look rather neglected and it is hard to see much of a future for them. BT is unlikely to keep them operational for much longer and they do not have the heritage appeal of the K6. These boxes are at the Dales, on Station Road and on High Lane East.