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Old 3rd Dec 2018, 10:35 pm   #1
Tom williams
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Question What is this for??

I found this socket at my grandad's tonight,
looking inside of it there appears to be some form of phone cable but why they would use a plate with a hole in it I have no idea, if anyone could help me that would be great.
(It's in an anchor flat complex)
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Old 3rd Dec 2018, 11:25 pm   #2
Croozer
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Default Re: What is this for??

It is the faceplate for connection of a telephone in the days before sockets were provided. The phone was hard wired and the hole was covered by a square grommet
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Old 3rd Dec 2018, 11:40 pm   #3
Tom williams
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Default Re: What is this for??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Croozer View Post
It is the faceplate for connection of a telephone in the days before sockets were provided. The phone was hard wired and the hole was covered by a square grommet
It has the letters "GPO" on it, what do these stand for?
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Old 3rd Dec 2018, 11:47 pm   #4
kellys_eye
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Default Re: What is this for??

"General Post Office" - the phone company as-was.
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Old 3rd Dec 2018, 11:56 pm   #5
Nickthedentist
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Default Re: What is this for??

Rare to see a flush mounted one though, most were screwed to a door frame or skirting board.
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Old 4th Dec 2018, 1:00 am   #6
Tom williams
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Default Re: What is this for??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Croozer View Post
It is the faceplate for connection of a telephone in the days before sockets were provided. The phone was hard wired and the hole was covered by a square grommet
That explains why there's a socket hardwired to it
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Old 5th Dec 2018, 6:02 pm   #7
duncanlowe
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Default Re: What is this for??

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Originally Posted by Nickthedentist View Post
Rare to see a flush mounted one though, most were screwed to a door frame or skirting board.
I think it depends. My parents house had one, must have been like it since the house was built so all the houses on the estate would have been the same. Early 1960s house I think.
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Old 6th Dec 2018, 11:49 pm   #8
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Default Re: What is this for??

Hi all,

I've just removed one from a 1960s property that's being refurbed, they are made to fit on a standard 1 gang knock out box (for single light switches and single sockets etc.) which are plastered into the wall along with the phone cables for a neater appearance.

Cheers
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Old 7th Dec 2018, 8:57 am   #9
Nickthedentist
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Default Re: What is this for??

Suspect it was a 60's thing then. I've never seen one and I've admired a lot of phone wiring over the years
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Old 7th Dec 2018, 9:42 am   #10
barrymagrec
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Default Re: What is this for??

I seem to remember there was one in the new flat we moved into in 1983. In fact the flat had been unoccupied since being built four or more years before, when BT came along to fit the phone they just replaced it with a standard master socket.
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Old 7th Dec 2018, 9:56 am   #11
G4YVM David
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Default Re: What is this for??

Wow. I am genuinely shocked that the op didnt know what GPO stood for. I'm not reflecting on the OP, just on how old I feel and how fast time moves on! That GPO should have passed away already...someone will tell me soon that British Rail doesnt exist either...

David
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Old 7th Dec 2018, 10:14 am   #12
Nickthedentist
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Default Re: What is this for??

Even BT isn't a household name these days.
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Old 7th Dec 2018, 12:04 pm   #13
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Default Re: What is this for??

The new-build house my family and I moved to in 1973 had one of these 'phone points. We didn't have a telephone in that house so it was not used until after we moved in 1979.

John
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Old 8th Dec 2018, 12:32 am   #14
Herald1360
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Default Re: What is this for??

I believe GPO telephones became PO Telecomms in 1969 and British Telecom (BT) somewhat later.

So..... to have any direct personal recollection of the GPO as a telephone provider, you'd need to be over about 50!

I had a 1967 ex GPO Telephone Engineering bright yellow (and rust) Commer PA as my car for a few years in the late '70s. I am somewhat over 50....

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...someone will tell me soon that British Rail doesnt exist either...

David
Well you've still got the GWR (sort of!).
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 7:57 pm   #15
kirstyd
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Default Re: What is this for??

Quote:
Originally Posted by G4YVM David View Post
Wow. I am genuinely shocked that the op didnt know what GPO stood for. I'm not reflecting on the OP, just on how old I feel and how fast time moves on! That GPO should have passed away already...someone will tell me soon that British Rail doesnt exist either...

David
I also feel ancient.
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 11:14 pm   #16
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Default Re: What is this for??

We never had anything as posh as a flush mounted face plate!

We made do with a GPO connection box (see pic) screwed to the window frame, where the line came in from outside. Ours was the standard two-tone grey dial phone, but for some reason the linebox was mustard yellow (both installed on the same day)

Then, in 1983, we upgraded to an 'Ambassador' push button phone, so a new style socket was installed aswell.
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Old 10th Dec 2018, 6:08 am   #17
TonyDuell
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Default Re: What is this for??

Those 'connection boxes' were officially called 'Blocks, Terminal'. The one in post #16 looks to be a 'Block, Terminal 52'. Anyway, 'Block Terminal' is commonly abbreviated to 'BT' on diagrams, etc which causes a lot of confusion with newcomers now who think it stands for 'Briitish Telecom' (which of course didn't exist when said diagrams were drawn)
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Old 10th Dec 2018, 8:23 am   #18
mark_in_manc
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Default Re: What is this for??

I have one similar to that. It's a really heavily-made thing for a few (I think four) connections and looks like it was designed to be assembled in the dark by a squaddie wearing thick gloves, and to withstand a really hostile environment! It's interesting to compare this with, for example, the miniature camera connector on the other end of a USB which I use to upload photos, whose pins I can barely see. I know what I'd rather try to fix
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