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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 1:32 pm   #1
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Flintshire, UK.
Posts: 619
Default GPO Bakelite Phones - the end?

Does anyone know when the GPO or PO stopped purchasing new Bakelite telephones?

The Telephone 706 was introduced in 1959 (I remember seeing the very first one to arrive in the Chester Telephone Area being unwrapped in the Fitters' Room late in 1959). It is often quoted as 'replacing the Bakelite range' but that wasn't the case. The Tele 706/710 and wall version Tele 711 were offered as the 'Modern Telephone' and was supplied at an extra charge, no matter what colour, until the late 1960's. The 300 series was still the 'standard' telephone supplied until at least 1968 according the the Telephone Service Instructions I have for that time. I was certainly ordering Bakelite phones from the local stores into the late 1960's but from memory most were 'wipe-up's ' done locally or refurbished by the PO Factories Det at Cwmcarn.

However I recently bought a 200 type and some other bits and pieces.
There were two Bakelite Tele 164 handsets - one dated 1961 and the other dated 1966 !. The 1961 dated one had an unusual method that I've never seen during the sixty years since I joined the GPO ! Instead of the handset cord having a loop which hooks over a 'T shaped projection in the transmitter housing cavity. Interestingly, the cord (which had been cut ) was of the type fitted to Tele 164's used in public telephone kiosks on Tele 238's. The other handset dated 1961 was on a kiosk telephone that had been refurbished at the PO's Cwmcarn Factory Department in South Wales in 1972. It was fitted with the curly extensible black cord developed c1960 for the 200/300 series.

Any advances on 1966 for new Bakelite 200/300 series ?
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