More good stuff… Again from The Guardian.
K8 boxes are last in the line of classics, say campaigners as nine still in working order get heritage protection
Nine rare cream-coloured public phone boxes that are still in working order have been given heritage protection by the government.
The K8 phone boxes are all cream – rather than red – because they are in Hull, the only place in England where the local council ran the public telephone network.
On the advice of Historic England, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said it was listing the best surviving nine in Hull and its surroundings at Grade II.
Sarah Charlesworth, the listing team leader for the north at Historic England, said the phone boxes were something from a bygone era.
“Nowadays we have mobile phones, so the need for a phone box has declined, but a lot of people still remember when that was the only option,” she said.
“For many of us they’ve been the scene of memorable moments in our own lives, from furtive conversations with first boyfriends to desperate calls home when we’ve been in a fix.”
Charlesworth said remaining phone boxes today were often mini libraries or pop-up art galleries, so for Hull’s still to be in use was “really quite rare”.
The Twentieth Century Society, a heritage campaign group, welcomed the move. Its director Catherine Croft 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.
“They’re the perfect example of how good design – no matter how small – can help enrich our high streets and communities.”
The K8 phone box was designed in 1965-66 by the architect Bruce Martin, who had been commissioned by the General Post Office. They were an easier-to-maintain update to the K2 and K6 boxes designed by Giles Gilbert Scott.
About 11,000 were installed across the UK and most were removed by British Telecom after privatisation in 1984. They were replaced by the widely disliked KX100 kiosk, a more functional and accessible phone box described by one Guardian writer as “utterly bland” and “plain nasty”.
Only about 50 of the K8 boxes still exist, some of them already listed such as examples in Swindon and on the platform of Worcester’s Shrub Hill railway station.
They are now joined by the Hull K8s, which were made cream to mark Hull’s independence from the network. Today, Hull’s network continues to be run by an independent company, KCOM.