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The Kiosk No.6 Story


The K6 kiosk is identified as Britain's red Telephone Box; in fact eight kiosk types were introduced by the General Post Office between 1926 and 1983. The K6 was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the coronation of King George V in 1935. Some 60,000 examples were installed across Britain, which is why the K6 has come to represent the red Telephone Box. Over 11,000 K6s remain and they are the most visible examples of the eight kiosk types.


The K6 kiosk is constructed of cast-iron sections, bolted together, standing on a concrete base. Its general form is a four-sided rectangular box with a domed roof. Three sides of the kiosk are glazed, with eight rows of three panes of glass; a wide central pane of glass and two outer, narrow panes. There is reeded molding around the window panel corresponding to the dimensions of the door opening, disguising that there is an opening on one side only. The door is of teak, with a metal "cup" handle. For weatherproofing there is a drip cap above the door. The back panel has a blank, molded panel conforming to the dimensions of the windows, and cable holes either side of the foundry plate at the foot of the kiosk. Above the main body of the kiosk is a plain entablature, set back from the face of the kiosk. The entablature carries a rectangular slot for signage, with trim molding. Set into the slot is an illuminated telephone sign, with serif capital lettering on opaque glass. Ventilation slots are inserted below the signage slot. The roof of the kiosk is domed, formed by segmental pediments, with a convex-molded edge. The pediments carry a molded Royal crown.


Was Giles Gilbert Scott's iconic domed roof design inspired by the graveyard tomb  of Sir John Soane ,Architect, in St Pancras Old Church, behind St Pancras International Rail Terminal.





The K6 kiosk was commissioned by the General Post Office in 1935 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George V. The design needed to be suitable for universal use, not repeating the mistakes of earlier kiosks. The K2 and K3 were attractive designs but had proved problematic. The K2 was too large and too expensive; the K3 too brittle. The General Post Office turned again to Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, with his triumphant new kiosk appearing in 1936. Some 8,000 kiosks were installed as part of the 'Jubilee Concession', allowing towns and villages with a Post Office to apply for a kiosk. 

A year later under the 'Tercentenary Concession' celebrating the Post Office's 300th anniversary, a further 1,000 kiosks were installed over 12 years for local authorities paying a five year subscription of 4. In 1939 a more vandal-proof Mk II version was introduced. In 1949 the Royal Fine Arts Commission intervened again, and bowing to pressure allowed rural examples to be painted in different colours. Subsequently kiosks have emerged painted in colours such as green and battleship grey. By 1960 some 60,000 examples existed, but the design was beginning to look old-fashioned. The General Post Office was looking at a modern replacement: the K7.


Between 1936 and 1968 60,000 examples of the K6 were installed. There are 2,260 separate listings for the K6 kiosk with English Heritage and Historic Scotland. There are approximately 8,400 non-listed K6 kiosks, giving a total number of surviving K6 kiosks of approximately 11,700 (about 20% of all K6 kiosks). Of the eight kiosk types introduced by the General Post Office, the K6 was the most populous type introduced, and the most populous type in terms of surviving kiosks. The majority of listed kiosks,




Name Kiosk No.6
Designed by Giles Gilbert Scott
Design Date 1935
Introduced 1936
Production Ended 1968
Construction Cast Iron Teak Door
Height 8ft 0"
Width 3ft 0"
Total Installed 60,000
Total Remaining 10,700

Avoncroft  Museum of Buildings

It is worth noting here that Avoncroft Museum of Buildings at Bromsgrove Worcs., www.avoncroft.org.uk have an established a collection of all GPO/BT kiosks, a collection of Police Boxes and Pillars, AA Boxes and RAC Boxes. All of these are fully working exhibits which are connected to a Mobile Strowger exchange and a UAX 13. We also have a working mobile TXE2. The Museum is always looking for volunteers to assist in various ways


Some Novel uses of Old K6's


Put the Phone Outside the Kiosk and...In the same..


 ..Kiosk Install..... - a sort of Hole in the Kiosk!

A red phone box in Rutland has been given a new lease of life as the first port of call in the event of a heart attack. The decommissioned kiosk in the village of Ashwell has been fitted with a defibrillator machine, which delivers a controlled electric shock to victims to start their heart beating normally again.

There are now more than 200 kiosks with defibrillator machines nationally.






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