Phone Box Thursday: Main Street, Shap


Grey lamppost
Red…um…grey lamppost, 1st June 2016?

I know what you’re thinking – that’s not a phone box.  What happened was that for the third phone box in Shap, we were driving too fast for me to snap the photo properly, and on this occasion, Dad wasn’t able to stop the car.

Luckily, Google Street View comes to the rescue!

Red phone box
Red phone box, Main Street, Shap, April 2011. Photo from Google Street View.

(Coordinates 54.5329503N, 2.6782433W.)

That’s a wrap in Shap.  We’ll be somewhere else next week!

20th century globes

For Christmas 1989, I got my first globe as a present.  Super educational!

Christmas 1989
The other presents in the picture are a jigsaw and two sets of hair accessories, all of which I also still have.

However, you don’t have to be a specialist historian to be aware that 1989 was a bit of a transitional year in world politics, to put it mildly, and so unfortunately my poor little globe was already out of date by the time I got it!

Here it is today (yes, obviously I still have it), complete with its depiction of the USSR and two separate Germanies:

1980s globe
1980s Eurasia, immortalised in a childhood Christmas present.

Perhaps so that I would have an up-to-date globe (that is not at all true – it was so that I would have a desk lamp for my homework), Mum and Dad then bought me this light-up globe lamp (labelled 1992) in the early ’90s:

1990s globe lamp
It’s also dotted with pictures of historical explorers and the dates they were active, which as a kid I found much more interesting than the actual map.

Obviously the 1992 globe is now itself slightly outdated (as you can see, it’s only got one Sudan – see this Wikipedia list for more examples), but for grown-up me as a 20th century throwback, that’s part of its charm.

I’ve occasionally considered starting a collection of even earlier 20th century globes, but given current constraints on house space, that’s probably not a good idea.

Maybe when I’m a very old lady, I’ll get an up-to-date one just to see how much has changed over the course of my lifetime!

Phone Box Thursday: Main Street, Shap

Today we’re looking at the second of the three Shap phone boxes.

Red phone box
Red phone box, Main Street, Shap, 1st June 2016.

(Coordinates 54.5258808N, 2.6744523W.)

Judging by the sign, this is (or at least was at some point) a modified phone box facility with a basic computer for email purposes.  There used to be one of those at the bottom of Sciennes, Edinburgh, which I used a lot when I was living in the Sciennes student flats (which were the ONE block of university flats that hadn’t had internet put in by 2003).  The Sciennes one was a KX series box, but it’s good to see that the classic K6s were at least temporarily used for this purpose as well.

We finish our Shap stop next week.

Phone Box Thursday: Main Street, Shap

Today we go back a little in the chronology of my phone box collection and look at the first of a series of three red phone boxes in Shap, Cumbria.

Red phone box
Red phone box, Main Street, Shap, 1st June 2016.

(Coordinates 54.5206946N, 2.6707452W.)

This first one is pretty dilapidated, but I think it’s weathered beautifully.  Not sure if that lacy material is being hung up to dry or is just some rubbish that has caught in the broken window in a very aesthetically pleasing way!

More from Shap next week.

Phone Box Thursday: Claypath, Durham

Back to Durham today for a couple of phone boxes in the centre of town.

Red phone boxes
Red phone boxes, Claypath, Durham, 14th May 2016.

Bit of a blurry photo today, I’m afraid, as we were in a hurry to get back to the train station and I could only take a photo from a distance.  Next time I’m in Durham I’ll try and remember to take one from close up!

Stuff I like about my parents’ house #5: original GPO 746

I’ve blogged before about my replica GPO 746 landline phone.  It’s a good replica, but nothing beats the feel of dialling on the real deal.  This black version, which sits on Mum and Dad’s hall table and has done since before I was born, is the real deal.

Original GPO 746
An original GPO 746.

It came with the house when Mum and Dad bought it in 1982, so we assume it dates from the ’70s.  It still works fine.  In fact, there have been times when the house has had a power cut, and because of the way that phone is connected up, it still works despite the power cut.  My brother and I discovered this once when housesitting/catsitting for Mum and Dad and trying to find a way to order pizza while the electric company were digging something up on the other side of the street.

There have been a couple of hall tables in that spot while our family has lived there, but only ever one phone.  Good old black 746.

Phone Box Thursday: Bishopgate Street, Leeds

Today our wander around Leeds town centre takes us to this modified phone box on Bishopgate Street.

Blue phone box
Blue phone box, Bishopgate Street, Leeds, 24th July 2016.

AQL are a telecommunications company, but I’m not sure if they’ve taken over this box for any purposes other than advertising.  Either way, it looks very nice with its blue coat of paint, rather like the Wetherspoon phone box from Waverley Bridge in Edinburgh.

That’s us done with Leeds for now.  Somewhere new next week!

Phone Box Thursday: City Square, Leeds

We’re still in Leeds town centre, and today we’re looking at a rather handsome row of four red phone boxes in City Square.

Red phone boxes
Red phone boxes, City Square, Leeds, 24th July 2016.

Each of the phone boxes is very well preserved, so clearly Leeds city council have put some work into these ones.

Red phone boxes
The four phone boxes are all in good condition – no smashed windows or graffiti here.

They frame the restaurant building very nicely!

Red phone boxes
Handy if you’re eating at the restaurant, need to make a phone call, and are so much of a 20th century throwback that you don’t have a mobile (I salute your dedication if so!)

Join us again next week for more Leeds phone boxes.

Stuff I like about my parents’ house #4: bookshelf full of classics

As I’ve been in a bookshelf place this week, what with getting my own ones back up and running, I thought I’d share my favourite of Mum and Dad’s many bookshelves: the one in the dining room that used to be an escape of mine when I was a kid.

I feel cosy just looking at it!

This is where Mum keeps all her old childhood books from the ’50s.  I was a voracious reader when I was little, and I would scour the whole house for new books to read (there are a lot), but this was one of my favourite spots to spend a Sunday afternoon. I’d pick out something that sounded interesting, and nine times out of ten it would be a jolly-hockey-sticks romp about maverick English boarding school girls in the ’50s.  It was a world that was completely far removed from my own, but I found it fascinating, and those books later inspired one of my own characters in one of my ongoing novel series.  I would settle down in the chair next to the bookshelf, so that once I was done with one book, I could immediately grab another.

Other books on the shelf included the entire Little Women series (published as four books in the UK – Little Women, Good Wives, Little Men and Jo’s Boys – I must have read them twenty or thirty times), Alice In Wonderland/Through The Looking Glass, and the entire What Katy Did series.  Some real classics there, and I still borrow them from time to time.

Phone Box Thursday: Call Lane, Leeds

We move on this week to a series of red phone boxes around Leeds town centre.

Red phone box
Red phone box, Call Lane, Leeds, 23rd July 2016.

Um, ignore the banana skin.

I like to see phone boxes that have been turned into cash machines – it means they’re still useful in the 21st century and councils are less likely to get rid of them!