Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Phone home

In 1972, I moved with my parents from one part of the north of England to a county even further north. The novelty of the house that was to become our family home for 46 years was that it had a phone. Our previous house didn't have one. The phone was a huge novelty for me. In my teens we would call to hear the Top 10 records in the charts, call to hear the weather report, or thrill of thrills, the Talking Clock.

Our phone was a standard GPO rotary dial phone in ivory. It felt very glamorous to be able to call friends and we called my grandparents weekly to check they were OK. Two years after we became phone owners, there was the terrible call that my grandfather had died suddenly. For the first time I associated it with something bad and brooding and avoided it for a while after that.

I wish I had a dollar for every kind of trashy Chinese push button phone I have had since, as well as the dreadful multi-line phones of work with their infinite number of extensions and horror of horror the intrusion of mobile phones. Don't get me started on that one.

So it was with a bucket full of nostalgia that today we installed a reproduction GPO rotary dial phone from a local interiors shop. It is not an authentic colour I don't think, but has the REAL ring tone, so evocative of the 70s. I am thrilled.

Me calling home from a friend's house 1976.

The new turquoise rotary.



  1. Memories of the old fabric cord and pulling it under the front room door from the hall so I could have a ‘private’ conversation with my boyfriend- apart from the party line of course!

    1. It was always a good strategy to have the phone in the hall, as they were generally cold and draughty. Kept the calls short!

  2. That is so, so cool!! I also have fond memories of the heft of a "real" phone :)