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Crich Box Original Location

Started by starcross, Sep 17, 2012, 02:03 am

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Feb 21, 2013, 04:52 am #15 Last Edit: Feb 21, 2013, 04:56 am by galacticprobe
Quote from: hb88banzai on Feb 21, 2013, 04:18 am
Absolutely wonderful - many thanks!

Ditto! Those photos are amazing. (Get rid of the webs! Get rid of the webs! Massive arachnophobe here! :o)

Quote from: hb88banzai on Feb 21, 2013, 04:18 am
It looks like a few photos didn't get uploaded, though (perhaps hitting the per-post size limit) - q21 through q26 are missing.

I don't think it's the photo limit (100 per post). I've had this happen to me, usually when I've tried to post several images at once, especially ones with such high resolution at these. So, to be safe, I won't add more than a couple of photos before using that "Save Draft and Continue >>" button. That seems to work. It takes a little longer, but at least all of the photos get through. So, Glen, you could try modifying your post, re-posting one or two of those last photos at a time (though when Modifying a post you have to use the "Save" button because there is no "Draft" button). Or you could just put the ones that didn't come through in a separate post... which ever appeals to you, of course. (I only offer suggestions. :))

Quote from: hb88banzai on Feb 21, 2013, 04:18 am
It's amazing that with so many photos posted over the years and so much interest that so much had yet to be seen by most of us in such detail. A huge addition to our knowledge base. Great stuff!

Agreed! Looking at those windows in this level of detail it appears that, probably as repairs were made, they replaced the panes of glass with no rhyme or reason (except for that bottom center pane; it seems to be clear on each window, though a clear, clear, and not a blue-tinted clear). The other panes appear to be a mix-n-match of the pebbled and clear glass, with some of the pebbled panes having their rounded side facing outward, while others have the pebbled side facing inward.

I also love the detail of the spring latch and hinges on the window frames.

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


All from June 2011 during my one and only fleeting visit to the UK.  Was only at Crich for about 20 min, most of that stuck in conversation with VERY chatty conductor who did let me into the box but would not take the hint to give me a minute to be alone with it (err?) and appreciate the moment.   I'm lucky that I got the pictures I did but I still wish I'd taken many more.    I remember being a little sad at the clear wear and rust returning since Ward's repairs a few years earlier but loved seeing it in the flesh.


"Approximatey"    ;D     That sign was lying on top of the phone cupboard on the inside of the box.   It refers to Tooting though of course we've no idea whether that sign is original to the box.


Feb 21, 2013, 06:20 am #18 Last Edit: Feb 21, 2013, 06:24 am by hb88banzai
More marvelous pics - looks like q21 is still a no show, however.

"Approximatey" - sounds like something a pirate would say  :)

As it was originally attached to the phone side of the inner phone door, I think it quite possible (even probable) it was original to the time of removal.


Feb 21, 2013, 06:24 am #19 Last Edit: Feb 21, 2013, 06:25 am by kiwidoc
This time!!q21.jpg


Found a picture (which I didn't take and don't know where I found it) but it looks to be from long ago.

If you look under the paper there is a blue thing which could be the number disk.

I've messed with it on PS and posted a relief image next to it.

Might just be my eyes or clutching at straws but to me it looks as though the oval disk is facing on the vertical plane instead of horizontal and reads "70" from top to bottom.

More likely completely wrong but I thought I would share for opinions.
Crich number.jpg


Feb 21, 2013, 11:53 am #21 Last Edit: Feb 21, 2013, 12:30 pm by hb88banzai
Intriguing. Looks like it has holes on either side as well.

It was quite awhile ago, as it had the old phone and the instruction sign still in place on the inner door.


Wish we had this in higher resolution.

Here's another from the same time period with a better pic of the phone and sign in place --


In this much newer pic you can make out what look like screw holes in the phone cabinet, just below the white paint and just to the right of the fire extinguisher bracket--


Might be a bit widely spaced though, for that sized tag. Hard to tell considering the angle in the photo combined with the fuzzy resolution.


If that is the number tag and it is "70" and it is the original for the Box, that complicates things a bit, doesn't it.

Here are the only two "70" Boxes in the Met List --

   S70    Box    A.R.W. Siren    21-Oct-58    24 Apr 70    London Road, east side 5 yards south of Wilton Close    Shenley    Barnet    

   V70    Box    A.R.W. Siren    01-Dec-48    20 Oct 70    Northwest corner of junction of Steels Lane and High Street    Oxshott    Kingston

Box S70 would have without doubt been a Mark III, but V70 being 1948 is about right for a Crich/Wimbledon(replacement) type Box if the WWII to c1950 dating of them is correct. Hmmmmm...


I might be able to help with higher resolution pics, as I took the original photos back in - good grief, 1984!  ;D

Hopefully I will be able to find and scan the original negatives, otherwise it will have to be scans from my old prints I'm afraid...



Feb 21, 2013, 12:26 pm #24 Last Edit: Feb 21, 2013, 12:44 pm by hb88banzai
:P Either would be immensely helpful.

My, that is a long time ago. In fact, that's right after it was acquired by Crich from the Met, which I believe was 1983!  :o


On the subject of number plates -

From what I've been able to gather, only the numeral part of the "Box Number" would likely be on the number plate - the Division letter part of the Box number being sort of assumed by its location. Though the Met List as we have it lists Boxes in the form of Division letter and then Box number, in actual practice they were apparently referred to in the opposite way - eg, "40W" for Box number 40 in W Division (Met List's W40).

Mark -
I noticed that the Trench plans have the number "40" on the oval number plate in the interior view - perhaps that's where you remembered that particular number from?

ukwookie -
Any luck at finding and/or scanning a higher resolution version of the photo?


The number plate in the Trench plans --



Still looking for the pics/negatives! That tells you everything you need to know about my filing system...  ;D



Apr 11, 2014, 12:02 pm #28 Last Edit: Apr 12, 2014, 06:52 am by hb88banzai
Well, isn't this interesting.

First off, in looking back through this thread there is one thing that has become clear from various texts I've read or re-read in the last year; any Box reporting to Tooting P.S. would almost certainly have actually been in Tooting Sub-Division, so if the phone instruction plaque is to be believed it would have had to be one of these 11 Boxes:

  W23    Box    A.R.W. Siren    Southwest corner of junction of London Road and Orchard Avenue - Beddington Corner - Tooting    

  W24    Box                  Southeast corner of junction of The Drive and Leominster Road - St Helier - Tooting    

  W25    Box                  Northeast corner of junction of Manor Road and Commonside East - Mitcham - Tooting    

  W26    Box    A.R.W. Siren    Rowan Road, east side 10 yards north of Longthornton Road - Lower Streatham - Tooting
(Sited on Z division. Transfered to Norbury sub-division (Z))

  W27    Box                  London Road, east side 20 yards north of Streatham Road - Mitcham - Tooting    

  W28    Box    A.R.W. Siren    High Street, west side 50 yards north of Priory Road - Colliers Wood - Tooting    

  W29    Box                  Mitcham Lane, west side 20 yards south of Southcroft Road - Lower Streatham -Tooting    

  W30    Box                  Tooting Bec Road, south side 10 yards west of West Drive - Tooting - Tooting    

   W31    Box                  South corner of junction of Tooting High Street and Mitcham Road - Tooting - Tooting    
(Tooting Broadway Box)

  W32    Box                  Wimbledon Road, east side 5 yards south of Garratt Lane - Tooting - Tooting    

  W46    Box                  Southeast corner of junction of Green Wrythe Lane and Middleton Road - Sutton - Tooting

Fair enough, and not much to narrow things down as Crich is what we now know to be a Mark 4 type box, which were likely made between somewhere around 1940 (or even later) and 1953 or so when the Mark 5's (what we previously called Mark 3's) came out, yet all the Tooting Boxes except W46 were first commissioned 18 July 1932 making them Mark 2's, with W46 being a Barnet type Mark 3 commissioned 18 January 1937. So, like the Wimbledon Common Box, Crich would have had to have been a replacement for a damaged or moved Box.

But then I was looking at some of my old downloads from around 8 years ago and came across this clipping (not sure from where) --

Crich Clipping.jpg

I went looking around and found it was a Grade II Listed building and the listing description seems to confirm the clipping:


List entry Number: 1109166


County: Derbyshire
District: Amber Valley
District Type: District Authority
Parish: Crich

Grade: II

Date first listed: 14-Apr-1987

UID: 78775

List entry Description
Summary of Building

Police Box. Early C20. Pre-cast concrete. Square plan, each face identical, with 6 lower panels and 2 small glazing bar fixed lights above. The doorway is the right half of the east face. The whole surmounted by a blue light. This box was originally sited on the North Circular Road, London, and it was removed to its present site in 1983.

Listing NGR: SK3453654841


So, as of 14 April 1987 it was thought to have originally come from on or near the North Circular Road. That covers around 30 Boxes or more in some six Divisions - T, X, S, Y, J and K.

But which are we to believe?

We do know that along with the Box the museum was given a lot of spare parts by the Met to help in refurbishing as it was reportedly in pretty shabby shape when they donated it (their own plans to display the Box at Hendon having fallen through), but was the "Tooting P.S." telephone instruction sign one of these additional parts or is it original to the Box, and if the latter then why would the listing info have been submitted with such a huge error as to the Box's original location?

Curiouser and curiouser.


Apr 11, 2014, 04:56 pm #29 Last Edit: Apr 11, 2014, 06:40 pm by hb88banzai

In the interests of putting everything on the table in one place I should probably risk some more smoke in the hope of finding a flicker of fire somewhere in the middle of it all.

First up, in my rummaging about I also found this photo --


There's that pesky number 40 again!  

I'm not sure when this photo was taken, but the next photo shows it was some time after the Box was repainted from the dark blue it sported when first installed at Crich --


Per ukwookie, his photos with the dark blue paint and the dial phone on the other side of the cupboard...



...were taken in 1984, only a year after the Box came to Crich, so the one with the "40" wasn't the original phone. Still, it's interesting.

Mark, you said that you saw a plate or sign of some kind on the outside of the cupboard somewhere near the fire extinguisher bracket and that you put it in the position you remembered in your Sketchup model, but didn't include a render of the model. Out of curiosity, could you post a pic of the model that shows the sign or draw in where you remember seeing it in this photo? --



Now, another probably spurious location suggested in a couple of places was somewhere close to the Tooting Railway Station on London Road. Per the Met List, however, there were no Boxes very close at all to that station. The only Box on London Road anywhere close is a good deal south, at the southern end of Figges Marsh in Mitcham (W27), but it was about as far away as the Box at Tooting Broadway Underground Station (W31) up Mitcham Road (which London Road becomes north of the railway station). They were about 1,000 yards and 1,200 yards from the station, respectively.

In the reading, it really sounds like these were rationalizations for the Tooting P.S. sign, however, so this can probably be discounted. I thought I should mention it, nonetheless, as I've seen it in more than one place.


Finally there are the reports of the Crich Box originally being sited on "Ealing Broadway." I couldn't find any mention of this on line before about the time of the reconstruction work in 2006, but beside it appearing on the previous incarnation of this Board (along with a spurious identification of the Shepherd's Bush Box as being the "Ealing Broadway" Box and a somewhat stretched rationalization for why a box on Ealing Broadway would be connected to Tooting P.S. clear on the other side of the Thames) it was also mentioned in a couple of newspapers when they reported on the reconstruction work. No sources for the info was mentioned, unfortunately, so for all we know the newspapers got those details (along with it being a "Mark 2") from us.

Still, it deserves further investigation. Looking at the Metbox Map it's pretty obvious there were no Boxes actually on Ealing Broadway per the Met List as we currently have it. Ealing Broadway is (and per the OS maps always has been) a fairly short stretch of Uxbridge Road between High Street and Windsor Road, with it changing to The Mall to the east before going back to Uxbridge Road near Hanger Lane.

The two closest boxes:

T53 was on Uxbridge Road about 1,200 yards west of the western end of Ealing Broadway. That's over 2/3 of a mile.

T50, also on Uxbridge Road, was around 730 yards east then southeast of the eastern end of Ealing Broadway, with The Mall in between. Things start to get a bit interesting here, though. Not only was it a lot closer to Ealing Broadway, but it was on an island at the corner of Uxbridge Road and Hanger Lane, across the street from Ealing Common. The roadway north of the Site is Hanger Lane (and on either side as it surrounds the two islands on either side of the main roadway), and to the south it becomes Gunnersbury Avenue, but they both go by another name...

...wait for it...

...wait for it...

... the North Circular Road!

So, if we take both the report that it was on "Ealing Broadway" and the description in the Listed Buildings info that it was on the North Circular Road at face value, then with only a little bit of stretching T50 becomes a very strong candidate.

Here's a photo of T50 (the Ealing Common Box) from 20 August 1947 --


Source: common&_IXFIRST_=236

A blowup --


Too blurry here to tell one way or the other, but perhaps it would be worth buying a copy of this photo in order to find out if it's a Crich type box. Wouldn't be conclusive if not, as it was only 1947 and they could have changed it up after that, but if it were a Crich type it would definitely be more circumstantial evidence that this was actually the Crich Box's original location, the "TOOTING P.S." sign notwithstanding.