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Vintage Telephony and Telecomms Vintage Telephones, Telephony and Telecomms Equipment

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Old 17th Mar 2012, 11:46 am   #41
arjoll
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Default Re: 'Button A-B' and grey payphones.

I remember A/B payphones being in common use here until they were replaced with Telecom cardphones, which must have been late 80's or very early 90's. Put in 6c (3x 2c - that dates it as 2c coins were demonetised in 1990), dial a number, then press the button on answer. Or, if you knew to subtract each digit from 10 thanks to our oddball dials, just tap dial

Of course no problem dialling 0 for the operator, or 1 so you could call 111 Emergency.

Not sure if they were the same units, but seeing NZ seemed the follow the UK in phone-related stuff they probably were. There's some pictures here.
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Old 17th Mar 2012, 11:53 am   #42
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Default Re: 'Button A-B' and grey payphones.

NZ phones with the '0' before the '1' would sometimes find their way into Post Office Telephones stores. Often they would then get installed in rest rooms etc. Those not "in the know" would wonder why they got wrong numbers.
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Old 24th Nov 2012, 8:26 pm   #43
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Default Re: 'Button A-B' and grey payphones.

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Originally Posted by arjoll View Post
Not sure if they were the same units, but seeing NZ seemed the follow the UK in phone-related stuff they probably were. There's some pictures here.
They were the same A/B boxes as the GPO ones in the UK plus some had a handset on the left-handside rather than a separate telephone - or at least my NZ A/B box has. All made by Halls Telephone Accessories Ltd of London - later ending up as Elliot Automation Ltd eventuaslly part of GEC. They also made A/B boxes for the PMG in Australia eventually ending up with what looked like a yellow GPO Pay-On-Answer Box Coin Collecting 700 with a handset on the side - but it wasn't POA but a buttonless A/B box with the functions of the buttons performed by 3000 type relay magnets - again one in my collection but I can't get any info on them as they were never repaired by the Austrailan telephone engineers but by the maker's Australian workshops.
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Old 24th Nov 2012, 8:35 pm   #44
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Default Re: 'Button A-B' and grey payphones.

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I went to the tram museum at Crich in Derbyshire a few years ago and they had what they reckoned to be the last working A-B type phone. It was housed in a beautifully preserved telephone box complete with mirror, directory holding unit and that chromium plated thing which looked like it was intended to hold spare change, but was usually used as an ash tray.

Paul
Sadly the Crich A/B box is out of use as the 'on-site' telephone system has been updated from the old Strowger system. But it is still intact I'm told.

There is another A/B box in an early kiosk - I recently restored the interior to what it would have been when the villagers were thrown out in 1943. See http://www.tynehamopc.org.uk/telephone_kiosk.html You can only visit the kiosk at the weekend as it is in the middle of the Army's Lulworth live firing gun range! See http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/Ab...orthRanges.htm for details of access times.
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Old 26th Nov 2012, 11:20 am   #45
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Default Re: 'Button A-B' and grey payphones.

The last black A-B type phone I recall seeing was on Morecambe Railway station C.1974, they were fairly rare by then most having been changed to the grey type.
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Old 29th Nov 2012, 11:26 am   #46
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Default Re: 'Button A-B' and grey payphones.

Correct. Morecambe was still a manual exchange until late 1974 and manual exchanges used A/B boxes. The grey STD payphones (Box Coin Collecting 705 in kiosks http://britishtelephones.com/bcc700.htm) were only introduced when an exchange was converted to STD working. The change of telephone happened just after the conversion as the STD payphones needed equipment in the exchange to enable them to function (Coin and Fee Checking relay sets).

That is why if you have one of these telephones, it will only work as a normal telephone and will not open the slots or give the 'pips' unless like some of us, you have a former GPO exchange still fitted with the relay sets.

There were still exchanges without STD working after March 1978 - several in Wales and Northern Ireland. The PO's annual 'List of Exchanges' giving info about each exchange no longer listed whether an exchange had STD after 1978 as they all had it by 1979 - except for the one manual phone left on the Isle of Lewis.
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Old 30th Nov 2012, 1:13 pm   #47
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Default Re: 'Button A-B' and grey payphones.

If any of the forum members happen to visit or stay in Kinloch Castle, Isle of Rum, it still has a black A-B phone sited inside the guests entrance. Unfortunately it is disconnected and doesn't operate.

The castle has been available to guests since the 1970's (IIRC), so I guss this was originally for the use of those visiting the island? The Coronation style phone box (a local landmark it would appear) is still intact but its payphone is only capable of emergency calls. The island has a microwave link back to Mallaig carrying the castles modern payphone, a handful of lines and the islands first wireless internet connection (slow but bearable).

Rob.
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Old 30th Nov 2012, 8:21 pm   #48
Pellseinydd
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Default Re: 'Button A-B' and grey payphones.

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If any of the forum members happen to visit or stay in Kinloch Castle, Isle of Rum, it still has a black A-B phone sited inside the guests entrance. Unfortunately it is disconnected and doesn't operate.

The castle has been available to guests since the 1970's (IIRC), so I guss this was originally for the use of those visiting the island? The Coronation style phone box (a local landmark it would appear) is still intact but its payphone is only capable of emergency calls. The island has a microwave link back to Mallaig carrying the castles modern payphone, a handful of lines and the islands first wireless internet connection (slow but bearable).

Rob.
A/B boxes on Rhum in use until circa June 1994 - I have a note of the exact date somewhere. Changed out when the Island Automatic eXchange No5 on Rhum was converted to digital.

Ian J
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