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Telephone Service in Birmingham

Radiorails

master brummie
NTC (National Telephone Company) this answers a query I had regarding a building on Alfred Street, Aston.
The building is still there, NT above the door.
Brummy lad,
this post also needs to be on the Alfred Street thread as it solves the question in the thread.
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmmie
Would I be right in assuming the building in the centre of the picture used to be Birmingham D, Lyndon, Repeater Station.
What is it now used for ?


E4D3672B-6C79-4D3D-A435-066DADCB033C.jpeg
 

Curly

master brummie
Would I be right in assuming the building in the centre of the picture used to be Birmingham D, Lyndon, Repeater Station.
What is it now used for ?


View attachment 148385
Correct. Before I retired in 2001 it was a repair centre for electronic PCBs used within BT PABXs. Presumably public exchange cards too. That was a while ago but what it's used for now, I know not.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Going way back, this was the Central Telephone Exchange in 1908. Obviously a female-dominated workplace !

Viv.

80019C9F-9D8D-47D3-BFEE-C3EC58D0CCD7.jpeg
 
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Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Had forgotten about ‘Dial-a-Disc’ - wasn’t allowed to use it. Did anyone ? Viv.

D3BF6D14-CC5A-4D08-8262-1D2EB3167040.jpeg
Source: British Newspaper Archive


A description from a net search:

Dial-a-disc was a telephone service provided the the Post Office beginning in the 60's. You simply dialed the number 16 on your telephone and a current 'pop' tune would be played down the line. This tune would be different each day and played from 6pm to 6am and all day on Sundays (cheap rate)”
 

mw0njm.

Brummie Dude
BRITAIN’S famous speaking clock may have been introduced in 1936 but it still keeps perfect time for the 30 million people who use the service each year.

 

chrissweep

master brummie
I've been reading all the Telephone service forum today and found it very interesting.
I worked for the GPO in the early 70's on Installation, external and internal, in the North Birmingham area. I remember some " hairy " moments up poles and trying to run lines from one side of road to another on your own, making sure no traffic got caught on the line. I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the Social Club in Thorpe Street, I thought it was quite popular but that might be just clouded memories that come with old age. I also recall how we had to fix a bracket to a building to hold the line before it went into the premises, we made a hole in the brickwork, mortar, etc. with something like a small punch and then secure the screws holding the bracket by chewing flakes of asbestos into a paste and filling the holes with the compound for it to harden, these were the days before rawplugs !
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmmie
I remember Thorpe Street. The Union meetings were held there for a time. But a bit of a distance from Telephone House for a dinner time pint !
 

RobT

Acemeccanoman
I also recall how we had to fix a bracket to a building to hold the line before it went into the premises, we made a hole in the brickwork, mortar, etc. with something like a small punch and then secure the screws holding the bracket by chewing flakes of asbestos into a paste and filling the holes with the compound for it to harden, these were the days before rawplugs !
Surely you didn't chew it,
P1110052R.jpg
 

Pellseinydd

New Member
Anyone remember Birmingham 'Rectory' at Sutton Coldfield - the UK's first large electronic exchange - I was a senior commissioning engineer with Standard Telephone & Cables, there working on getting it up and running in the early 1970's. Used get visited by lots of folk from around the World to see it including regular visits by Bill Rylands, Chairman of the Post Office. To think, the technology has long been replaced! Years later I was present at the ceremony of what BT thought was 'The Last Electro-mechanical exchange' at Crawford in Scotland on 23rd June 1995 but I knew it wasn't. The following month I was present at the very last change-over on the tiny island of Foula. Then I recovered the exchange for my collection.RectoryTXE4-1973 .jpg
 

Pellseinydd

New Member
BRITAIN’S famous speaking clock may have been introduced in 1936 but it still keeps perfect time for the 30 million people who use the service each year.

The old GPO Speaking Clock of the 1960's (with the voice of Pat Symmonds) is still working on the UK public network on its old code 8081 used outside Birmingham (Birmingham used 'TIM'/846 later changed to '123'). Just dial from your mobile/landline 0135283 followed by 8081 - a normal landline number so likely to be in your 'free' calls package.
 

mw0njm.

Brummie Dude
The old GPO Speaking Clock of the 1960's (with the voice of Pat Symmonds) is still working on the UK public network on its old code 8081 used outside Birmingham (Birmingham used 'TIM'/846 later changed to '123'). Just dial from your mobile/landline 0135283 followed by 8081 - a normal landline number so likely to be in your 'free' calls package.
welcome. to the forum pellseinyd.
 

Pellseinydd

New Member
KNOWLE telephone dialling codes - does anyone know what the local dialling codes to other local exchanges were in the 1960/80's ? The Subscriber Trunk Dialling Code in those days for Knowle was 0564 5 And I know that there was at least one local code to Lapworth. These are needed as Knowle 'exchange' is being added to our replica of the old UK GPO public network that we have replicated working over the Internet using the technology BT are starting to convert the public network to. However we still use the old codes of the 1960/70's so Birmingham is still 021-xxx xxxx and Walsall 0922 xxxxx. There are many old phones and former GPO exchanges connected - I have the oldest working GPO automatic exchange that served a village in Northumberland from 1929 until replaced in 1950. The network has lines all over the World as far away as New Zealand - no 'line rental' or call charges.

Unfortunately most Birmingham exchanges were far too large to preserved in their entirety.

I'm only looking for the local codes from Knowle in the 1960/70's - a photo/scan would be great if you happen to have an old dialling codebook - BT stopped producing them circa1984 when the went into the newly formatted 'Phonebook'
 
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