The facts

A Sacred Landscape


Highside Farm, Bowbank, Middleton-in-Teesdale, County Durham

Trill Farm, Musbury, Axminster, Devon

Dress Sense

Wing Hall, Wing, Oakham, Rutland

Sea Barn Farm Camping Park, Fleet, Weymouth, Dorset

Middle Woodbatch Farm, Woodbatch Road, Bishop's Castle, Shropshire


The Battle of Bosworth

Grizedale Camping Site, Bowkerstead Farm, Satterthwaite, Ulverston, Cumbria

South Penquite, Blisland, Bodmin, Cornwall

George V (1910 - 1936)

South Allington House (Chivelstone, Kingsbridge, Devon)

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"K" for kiosk (part three)
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In 1935 King George V was to celebrate his Jubilee so, to mark the event, the Post Office commissioned a new 'Jubilee Kiosk' from Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. It would be in cast iron, it would be red, and it was to be for use everywhere. Designated the K6, it arrived on the streets in 1936.

Hitherto, whatever the design of kiosk, many communities had found it very difficult to persuade the Post Office to let them have one at all. In very many cases, particularly in rural areas, the Post Office would install a kiosk only if the local council agreed to cover all the Post Office's losses in providing and operating it. But now, along with the announcement of the Jubilee Kiosk, came a 'Jubilee Concession', by which henceforth call offices would be provided in every town and village with a post office, regardless of financial considerations. This concession led to over 8000 new kiosks being supplied.

In the following year, which marked the three hundredth anniversary of the Post Office, there was the 'Tercentenary Concession'. Under this scheme, if a local authority would pay £4 a year (then the normal residential subscription) for fiveyears, the Post Office would provide a call office almost anywhere it was asked to. This scheme continued until 1949, and under it nearly 1000 more kiosks were erected.

The new K6 was also used to replace thousands of the older Kls and K3s. By the end of the 1930s, 20,000 K6s had been erected. The all-red kiosk became a familiar sight throughout Britain.

However, the K6 proved to be much to the liking of the criminal fraternity. Kiosk theft and vandalism had always been a problem (and still are), but many of the new boxes were in quiet locations, which made them especially vulnerable. The glazing frames could easily be removed with just an ordinary screwdriver, so that it was simple to collect enough glass to glaze a cold frame. Someone using a carefully positioned crowbar could easily wrench the cash box from the attractive but none too strong black and chrome backboard. To combat these attacks, in 1939 a Mark 2 design was introduced. Its glazing frames were riveted in place and addi-tional fixtures for the coinbox were included in the back panel of the kiosk. In order to take the cash box from a K6, a thief would have to destroy the kiosk.

Not everyone liked the red that had first become established as the standard colour for cast-iron boxes with the K2. Today the traditional red box is regarded as part of the British scene, but then it was not so. A bright red telephone box stood out rather too well for some people, especially those kiosks being put up in rural areas, where previously, if a community already had one, it was most probably cream. When a new kiosk was to be installed on an entirely new site, its bright red colour was going to stand out. The Post Office avoided making all but a very small number of exceptions to red but requests for other colours continued. In 1939 the Royal Fine Arts Commission was asked to look again at the question of colour. It endorsed the policy of red everywhere.

The Second World War halted mass production of K6s, although it proved possible to produce and install a further 2000 once the shortage of raw materials had eased. After the war a faster rate of installation resumed, although until 1950 it was still less than half of what it had been before the war.

"K" for kiosk (part three)

The Kiosk No. 4 '24-hour post office'. Because it was about half as large again as the K2 and needed clear access to both ends, suitable sites were difficult to find. It was very expensive too. Only a single batch of fifty was ordered. (Left to right) Front elevation, side elevation, back elevation.

"K" for kiosk (part three)

A sort of 'flat pack' kiosk, in metal-faced plywood, the K5 was intended for temporary use at exhibitions and events. This artist's impression was produced in 1987 using rediscovered working drawings.

"K" for kiosk (part three)

The classic Кб 'Jubilee Kiosk'. Introduced in 1936, it was to be Britain's standard kiosk for over thirty years. In that time around 60,000 were erected.

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