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Non-Met & Early Met Signage

Started by domvar, Oct 19, 2016, 04:08 am

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Volpone

Oct 19, 2016, 04:08 am Last Edit: Oct 31, 2016, 09:34 am by hb88banzai
Is that accurate to the Met boxes too?  I just need to remember about this thread when I finally get around to putting a phone into my box.
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.

domvar

No sheffield only this was next to the phone door instead of the pull to open glass

Mark

I'm fairly sure the sign was on the telephone door rather than where the current "new" plaque is.

Allegedly the original sign for the top of the box which read "Sheffield City Police" still exists but where is anyone's guess.

ironageman

These bow-top boxes are very appealing. I wonder when 'Dial O for Assistance' was added...?

The enamel instruction plaque is fab. Some other boxes of this era look as if they had something similar but perhaps the wording was not identical. Volpone - before the Tardis-style wording, the Met boxes had signs like this:
early met box sign.jpg
(I think that there's a better copy of this on this site somewhere but can't find it right now!)
leonard cohen  1934-2016  standing by the window where the light is strong

Volpone

Duh.  I think I was making things too complicated, now that I think about some of the photos you see of met boxes with the phone door open.  There's no instructions.  Just a badge that tells the caller what location he's calling from, right?  (Sorry for being off topic.  I'll stop after this.) 
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.

domvar

Oct 18, 2016, 07:52 am #5 Last Edit: Oct 31, 2016, 10:14 am by hb88banzai
And here is what (the Sheffield Box plaque) used to say - this is on the wall at the fire and police museum round the corner

plaque.jpg

Domvar


EDIT: Topic split from http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=3368.0 and text added in parentheses above to make posting clearer without context -- banzai

galacticprobe

Oct 24, 2016, 06:54 am #6 Last Edit: Oct 24, 2016, 06:54 am by galacticprobe
I tried playing around with ironageman's image a little to see if I could get the wording a little more legible:

early met box sign.jpg

This is the best I could get out of it, but I think it's a little easier to read now. (How does it look?)

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

starcross

Oct 26, 2016, 02:38 am #7 Last Edit: Oct 27, 2016, 03:41 pm by starcross
I believe this is what you are after.
I have no idea where I came across it though.

boxweb2.jpg

oldpanel - fixed.jpg

Update:
The entire Image of the box to better place the sign in context.

library1.jpg

galacticprobe

Oct 26, 2016, 03:26 am #8 Last Edit: Oct 26, 2016, 03:33 am by galacticprobe
Beautiful image of that sign, starcross! Thanks for posting it, and the image showing where on the box it was located. (And either that box is unusually tall, on an unusually tall base, or that is a short woman!) Also, notice how high the lock on the door is? It's on the rail level with the stile between the phone cubby and the window - close to where it would eventually end up (in the spade key form) on the Newbery prop, and (in Yale form) on one of the Yardley-Jones boxes! Intriguing.

I also like how we get a sneak peek into the phone cubby, which is the same color as the main box, and see the woman holding a candlestick phone.

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

Bob's your Uncle

It looks like this Police Box has a regular round door knob, too (partial hidden by the top of the phone).
I've never seen that on a Police Box before.

Greg.
"Listen. All I have to do is dive into another dimension, find the time traveler, help her escape the monster, get home before the entire dimension collapses, and Bob's your Uncle."

'Hide'  S07 E09

hb88banzai

Oct 26, 2016, 07:49 am #10 Last Edit: Oct 31, 2016, 08:44 am by hb88banzai
The subject of signage for all the different types of Boxes in the UK is a varied and interesting one. Everyone seems to have had their own idea of what was appropriate.

It should be noted that the Met Boxes were originally designed by Trench to be completely without such signage; the only signs being the top, perforated stencil type"POLICE" signs that doubled as the Box's only form of ventilation, and an instruction sign on the inner door of the phone cupboard that faced outward so a user knew the proper procedures for use of the telephone, like Sillitoe's Sheffield plaque shown above. You can see a little sliver of the Met instruction sign in the above photo - in fact, it almost looks like the woman is reading it while she's on the phone.

Met memos show that by early 1930 the lack of signage explaining that the public could have full use of the phone for purposes relevant to the Police was proving to be a problem, and the top signs were all but invisible in the dark unless seen at just the right angle, so steps were taken to rectify both issues. The first approved attempt at this would have had a needlessly verbose sign immediately opposite the phone door with a giant "hand" above this pointing at the telephone itself, similar to the arrangement on many Police Boxes in other cities at that time. Fortunately, this was altered (I suspect by Trench himself) to the more elegant final design on the panel immediately below the Phone Door, these being installed by mid-1930 on all Boxes.

The above photo appears to have been part of a publicity campaign later in the year (or early 1931) to advertise the new signage and to promote public use of the Boxes. I'm pretty sure the Box pictured is V11 opposite the Gasworks Bridge in North Sheen.

Here's a slightly enhanced blowup of that sign:

boxweb2--SignCropBlowupSharpened.jpg

Interestingly, some sources seem to suggest that this sign was actually "in glass" like the later integral Phone Door signs rather than an "enamel plate" like the St. John badge/plaque.

BTW, both Mark 1's and Mark 2's had that high lock position (and a different model and/or make of lock than the ETAS found on the Mark 3s and later). Also, photos of the Mark 1's seem to show that though the small knob on the Phone Door was always supposed to be there, that big knob on the main door didn't show up until some time in 1930, so was not part of the original design. I would guess that over the winter it was found that the wood had shifted and settled on some of the Boxes, making it difficult to open the door using just the key to pull with. Both these knobs were fixed, ie, non-rotating handles, and though many were replaced at some point with the Mark 2 and later standard bow handles, some were not. The St. John signs were always supposed to be attached, but they weren't actually installed until the Boxes were finally equipped with the St. John First Aid boxes, by circa April 1930 (the delay being due to logistical issues).

ironageman

Excellent picture of it! Whatever it is, it's probably too finely printed to be enamel.

Among the random collection of signage on the 1927(?) Newcastle box -
RIMG0368.JPG
is a notice which seems similar to the Sheffield plaque. At any rate, it almost certainly begins "Instructions. To call Police, Ambulance or Fire Brigade... to operator... ..." but I can't make out any more than that. ('Police' being in red or blue as it hasn't picked up well.)
RIMG0370.JPG
The Exeter one is similar (see elsewhere on this site or in Mr Bunker's book); the plaques on the Swansea and Manchester boxes seem even closer to the Sheffield version.

I wonder whether there are any nice clear shots of any of these anywhere about...?
leonard cohen  1934-2016  standing by the window where the light is strong

starcross

Quote from: ironageman on Oct 27, 2016, 03:17 pm
I wonder whether there are any nice clear shots of any of these anywhere about...?


This Manchester Police Box has a similar sign, but its out of focus.
Maybe someone can clean this up since it has some resolution to it.

Source: flickr
manchester 2.jpg

Manchester Box sign.jpg


I'm not sure this is exactly the same but the wording, but this sign on the Manchester Police Post might be similar.

Source: flickr
Manchester Intructions.jpg

Manchester Intructions - Sign.jpg

galacticprobe

Oct 28, 2016, 01:08 am #13 Last Edit: Oct 28, 2016, 01:13 am by galacticprobe
Well, my photo editor wasn't able to clean up the sign photo enough to read what was on it. I was able to sharpen the one photo when I rotated it to make it upright:

RIMG0368.jpg

The Manchester photo with the policeman in the box shows what looks like "crackle" glass in the windows. I wonder if that's what they used in the Newcastle boxes' windows for that "obscure glass" mentioned on the drawings. (http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=7108.0)

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

ironageman

Oct 28, 2016, 03:11 pm #14 Last Edit: Oct 28, 2016, 03:16 pm by ironageman
Well, the last line is the same on both post and box - "Any person improperly using the telephone will be liable to a penalty."

Still puzzling the rest of it out!

EDIT The rest looks similar... "Open ??? ??? ??? of telephone, place receiver to ear and speak message into mouthpiece of instrument. When a reply... ..."

...Continuing to puzzle the rest of it out!
leonard cohen  1934-2016  standing by the window where the light is strong