Saturday, 5 September 2009

Looking Back - UK's First Trunk Call From A Pay Phone

On this day in 1959, the UK's first trunk dialling system from a public call-box was inaugurated in Bristol. It was the start of a countrywide service that was eventually going to replace the Button A and Button B system. The Deputy Lord Mayor of London dialling the number himself.
The new streamlined coin phone boxes had slots for 3d, 6d,and one shilling pieces. Money could not be put in until the call was answered. A series of pips indicated when the time paid for was running out and the caller had to insert more coins to carry on talking.
Subscriber Trunk Dialling was introduced in the Bristol area the previous December which meant that 18,000 subscribers were then able to make trunk calls without the aid of the operator.
The system was launched by Her Majesty the Queen on 5 December 1958 during a ceremony in which she made a long-distance call from Bristol Central Telephone Exchange to the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, more than 300 miles (482 km) away. Her call lasted two minutes and five seconds and cost 10d (four pence).
This latest move to introduce coin boxes is part of Ernest Marple's £35 million scheme to modernise the phone system in an effort to popularise use of the telephone. Mr Marples described the new system as "quite revolutionary" and "good value for money."
However, automatic dialling will inevitably lead to job losses. The GPO employs 50.000 operators and the number will be halved by 1970, saving an estimated £15 million a year.
The button A and Button B pay phones, first introduced in 1925, connected callers via an operator on insertion of the call fee. The called then pushed Button A to deposit the coins and make the connection. If a call could not be connected for some reason, or if there was no reply, Button B was pushed and all the coins were returned.
In 1976 the last manual exchange in the United Kingdom at Portree in the Isle of Skye closed making the British telephone system fully automatic.

Interesting Headstones


1930's, 1940's, 1950's
1960's and early 1970's
First, we survived being born to mothers who
smoked and/or drank while they carried us
and lived in houses made of asbestos.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, raw egg
products, loads of bacon and processed meat,
tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for
diabetes or cervical cancer.
Then after that trauma, our baby cots were
covered with bright coloured lead based
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles,
door or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we
had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the risks
we took hitchhiking.
As children we would ride in cars with no
seat belts or air bags.
We drank water from the garden hose and
not from a bottle.
Take-away food was limited to fish and chips,
no pizza shops, McDonalds, KFC, Subway
or Nandos.
Even though all the shops closed at 6.00 pm and
didn't open at weekends, somehow we didn't
starve to death!
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from
one bottle and no one died from this.
We could collect old drink bottles and cash them
in at the corner store and buy toffees,
gobstoppers and bubble gum ans some bangers
to blow up frogs with.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter
and drank soft drinks with sugar in them, but we
weren't overweight because ......
we were always outside playing!!
We would leave home in the morning and play all
day, as long as we were back when the street
lights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of
old prams and then ride down the hill, only to find
out we forgot the brakes.
We built tree-houses and dens and played in river
beds with matchbox cars.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo, Wii, X-boxes,
no video games at all, no 999 channels on Sky, no
video/dvd films. no mobile phones, no personal
computers, no Internet or Internet Chat-rooms ....
We had friends and we went outside and found them.
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth
and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.
Only girls had pierced ears!
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and
the worm did not live in us forever.
You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns
at Easter time ......
We were given air guns and catapults for our
10th birthdays.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and
knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just
yelled for them.
Mum didn't have to go to work to help dad make
ends meet.
Rugby and Cricket had tryouts and not everyone made
the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with
disappointment. Imagine that! Getting into the team
was based on merit.
Our teachers used to hit us with belts or canes and gym
shoes and bullies always ruled the playground at school.
The idea of a parent baling us out if we broke the law
was unheard of. They actually sided with the law.
Our parents didn't invent stupid names for their kids
like Kiora and Blade and Ridge and Vanilla.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility,
and we learned how to deal with it all.
And you were one of them!

Dust If You Must


Remember .... a layer of dust
protects the wood beneath it.
A house becomes a home
when you can write 'I love
you' on the furniture.
I used to spend at least eight
hours every weekend making
sure things were just perfect -
'in case someone came over'.
Finally, I realizes one day that
no-one came over, they were
all out living life and having fun.
Now when people visit, I don't
have to explain the 'condition'
of my home.

They are more interested in hearing

about the things I've been doing

while I was away living life and having

fun. If you haven't figured this out yet,

please heed this advice.

Life is short enjoy it!


Dust if you must.......................

But wouldn't it be better to paint

a picture or write a letter, bake

cookies or a cake and lick the spoon

or plant a seed, ponder the difference

between want and need?

Dust if you must .....................
But there's not much time with
beer to drink, rivers to swim and
mountains to climb, music to hear
and books to read, friends to
cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must ...............................

but the world's out there, with the sun

in your eyes, the wind in your hair, a

flutter of snow, a shower of rain. This

day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind

old age will come and it's not kind.

And when you go - and go you must -

you, yourself will make more dust.

It's not what you gather, but what

you scatter that tells what kind of

life you have lived.

Who Am I? - Friday's Answer

Friday's Who Am I? answer
Buddy Holly