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Telephone Service in Birmingham


master brummie
Radiorails, re post 341, that is the old EAS (east) telephone exchange, later having the 327 all figure code, part of the Birmingham (021) telephone system, I worked for PO telephones 1956 t0 1987, although the last 3 years it was privatised and became BT, one of the reasons why I took early retirement. Eric


Master Barmmie
I believe it was KNO ———— . There are examples in the Press, such as MIDland and CENtal numbers, and some for KNOwle.


master brummie
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.View attachment 150455
Yes I remember it, I think it was up by Good Hope Hospital. I was on Internal Installation based at Sutton Exchange and Rectory fell under the same remit. Didn't they introduce " Crossbar " there, the replacement to Strauger ?


master brummie
I did my training at Telephone House in 1964 and have been trying to trace others that worked there without success. The switchroom was on the fourth floor, directory enquiries was sited on the third floor. I remember the clocking in machine as you entered the switchroom. Supervisors standing at the back of the operators, if you needed a comfort break or a 'casual' as it was called, then you had to ask permission from the

Hi Susie its a while since you posted your message. I trained in 1967 at Telephone House, my maiden name was Hellon. A few names I remember in my group was Joyce Spriggs, Jennie Florence, Sarah Fitzpatrick , Jennie Jones. I remember the same things as you, loved it on the enquiries and 999 calls and doing Directory enquiries. Happy memories.



master brummie
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'

The dialling code from Birmingham was KN0 (or KNO) for Knowle and KN4 for Lapworth so from Knowle to Lapworth, I would have expected to be just 4.