Phone Box Thursday: ‘Let Me Go’, Lothbury, and London

I am officially out of phone box photos to share with you, so it’s a different kind of Phone Box Thursday this week!

Last year, when I was still doing Music Video Monday posts, I did a piece on Heaven 17’s ‘Let Me Go’, which is a very nice example of classic red phone box use in music videos (while you can’t actually tell that the phone box is red in this black and white video, it was made in 1982 and therefore prior to the days when councils and other organisations started repainting phone boxes in funky non-red colours, so I am pretty much 100% certain that it was red).

This week, I thought I’d track down the location of the video shoot to see if the phone box was still there! This will be a regular feature when my own phone box collection is running short, so expect a few more posts on phone boxes from music videos and TV shows in the near future.

Heaven 17 - 'Let Me Go', filmed on Lothbury, London
Red (I assume!) phone box, Lothbury, London (from Heaven 17’s ‘Let Me Go’ video, filmed in 1982).

It took me a while to track down this London street, but due to the fact that later in the video Glenn Gregory runs past the National Westminster Bank at number 41, I managed to work out that the street in question was Lothbury, with the help of this beautifully ’80s architecture pamphlet about the bank building. It is, of course, no longer a NatWest, because bank branches never stay in the same place for very long!

Here it is on Google Street View (coordinates 51°51’47.2″N, 0°08’94.8″W)…

Lothbury, Google Street View, 2019
No phone box, Lothbury, London (Google Street View image from April 2019).

…and woe – you can see that the phone box in question is no longer there! Looking back through the Street View historical slider, it was also not there in the earliest Street View image taken in 2008, so it’s been gone for some time, sadly.

However, if we stay in the same position on Street View and turn ourselves 180 degrees to look back along the street…

Phone boxes on Lothbury (Google Street View, 2019).
Black and red phone boxes, Lothbury, London (Google Street View image from April 2019).

…there are a couple of classic phone boxes quite close to each other, one repainted black. So maybe one of them is the original ‘Let Me Go’ phone box and was moved by the council at some point between 1982 and 2008? You never know!

I may have some regularly-scheduled phone boxes for you next week, as Mum and Dad have identified a few more to collect in Dumfries and Galloway. Otherwise, I’ll be back in the world of ’80s music videos again!

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