The British Telecom telephone box

Intro to this weekend’s nostalgic memory

THE birthday boy jumps with excitement when he hears the letterbox slam. He rips open the envelopes reads the messages in his birthday cards. He instantly recognises the writing on this particular envelope: it’s from Aunt Suzy. He grins whilst ripping open the envelope to reveal not only a birthday card, but a rather generous cheque.

How does he thank Aunt Suzy? After a few minutes of deliberation, the answer is clear: it’s good to talk, and Aunt Suzy would love to hear his voice – a phone call will do the trick! Next stop: the phone box down the street.

He swings open the door and pulls out a note with Aunt Suzy’s phone number from his back pocket. The dial tone from the receiver is healthy and he dials her number.

“Hello?” Before he has a chance to respond to Aunt Suzy’s greeting, an annoying series of beeps belt through the receiver – totally forgot about getting the coins ready to make the call. He’s frantically digging into his pockets trying to find coins. Eventually, he manages to dig out 10p and slides it into the pay slot.

Hello Aunt Suzy, it’s me. How are you?

Hello my lovely. I can’t grumble. How are you? Are you having a nice day? Happy birthday my love.

Thank you Aunt Suzy – I’m having a great day thanks – thanks for the card and cheque.

You’re welcome my love. How you getting on with Sandra? She’s a lovely girl.

You mean Sonia? We broke up a last year – things just weren’t working out.

That’s a shame my love, Sandra was such a nice girl, I could tell she came from a decent home and was brought up with good manners. Not to worry, there’s plenty more fish in the sea. What you having for dinner? We’re having a nice piece of steak from Marks – Jeff loves a nice piece of steak with not too much fat on it. He’s out cutting the grass at the moment so he’ll be ready for a good feed afterwards. Any chance you can get back with Sandra?

Sonia! No Aunt Suzy… No chance!

That’s a real shame. I had a friend at school called Sandra – she was such a good friend but always had a stream of snot coming out her nose. It was lucky that I always carried a hankie.

Those annoying beeps kick-in and the call ends abruptly. He walks away with his heart beating twice as fast than when he first stepped into the tall red box. He giggles to himself whilst thinking about the randomness of Aunt Suzy. The phone call has made her day… and provided her with enough gossip to last a few hours!

Want a history lesson on telephone boxes? Here you go!

British Telecom is featured in the retro hardback book, Section N Underpass – reminisce on adverts, leisure and entertainment from the 70s and 80s. Get the rundown by clicking the front cover below:

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