Nine rare cream-coloured phone boxes receive listed status

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Nine rare cream-coloured phone boxes have been granted listed status to mark their importance as “the last in the line of the classic telephone boxes”.

The K8 kiosks, all in and around Hull, have been listed at Grade II by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on the advice of Historic England.

The K8 was designed in 1965-66 by architect Bruce Martin and is described by Historic England as “the last generation of the classic public telephone box”.

Between 1968 and 1983 11,000 K8s were installed across the UK but there are only around 50 remaining in their original position as most were removed by British Telecom following its privatisation in 1984.

Listed status phone boxes
A cream-coloured K8 phone box on Main Road, Wawne, near Hull, has been listed (Alun Bull/Historic England/PA)

Most of the identified surviving K8s are in and around Hull because they were not the property of British Telecom.

Hull is the only place in England where the local council actively ran the public telephone network, having been granted a licence to operate from 1902 to 2007.

The network has continued to be run by an independent company, Kingston Communications.

As a mark of the independence of the network, the K8s in Hull are painted cream, rather than the red used elsewhere in the country.

Sarah Charlesworth, listing team Leader for the North at Historic England, said: “Our old phone boxes are a beloved part of England’s heritage and for many of us they’ve been the scene of memorable moments in our own lives.

“These listed K8s represent the cream of the crop in the Hull area, those which are in the best condition, and which help to enrich their individual historic streetscape location.”

Catherine Croft, director of the Twentieth Century Society, said: “The K8 is really the last in the line of the classic telephone boxes and their plight has long been a cause for C20 Society, so we’re delighted to see another brace of boxes recognised with national listing.”

The listed phone boxes are; Main Street, Wawne; High Street, North Ferriby; Boulevard, Hull; Princes Avenue at junction with Park Grove, Hull (two kiosks); Beech Avenue, Hull; Church Gate, Hedon; Main Street, Swanland; and Skillings Lane, Brough.

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