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Feltham High Street Box

Started by petewilson, Apr 14, 2013, 09:12 pm

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Apr 14, 2013, 09:12 pm Last Edit: Apr 17, 2013, 12:20 am by hb88banzai
Things have become very quiet on this forum and I might be scraping the Barrel...But could this possible be the corner of T12....... ::)





Apr 15, 2013, 02:33 am #2 Last Edit: Apr 15, 2013, 07:27 am by hb88banzai
Interesting find Pete, but may I say, what an incredibly frustrating location and photo.

Was there any date associated with the image?

This is one of those dreaded sites on a street with dual outlets to the other named street where one of the outlets seems to be closer to the Met List description only to find it may well have been at the other outlet. Not only that, but the blasted Ordnance Survey Maps are also letting us down in that there is no coverage in the correct scale during the years the Box would have been there.

The Met List states that the Box was on the north side of High Street, that's no problem as it fits both outlets, but it also says it was on the south side of St. Dunstan's Road. The north outlet (location of the above photo) junctions with High Street while it is oriented almost perfectly north/south. This means there is NO south side of St. Dunstan's at that point, hence the reason I originally located it at the southern junction where it joins High Street at enough of an angle to have a south side (barely). The full description reads "Junction of St Dunstans Road, south side and High Street, north side - Lower Feltham."

So, my original take on the description placed the Box here (with St. Dunstan's on the left going marginally towards the northeast) --



But then we come to the posted photo of the northern outlet.

First question is what are we looking at? There are two parts of the photo suggestive of a Police Box, but one is too far away to tell with the given resolution, and the other shows too little to be sure (plus it's in the wrong place regardless of how you interpret the description).

Here is the first "box" shaped object (not sure which one you were seeing, but this is the one that at least partially resembles the Met List's description) --


The rectangular object at center frame, just outside what is labeled as "The Rose and Crown" P.H., currently called "The Mansion" (under the penciled-in "X" in the photo). Unfortunately, the resolution is poor and there's a great deal of jpeg compression artifacting going on throughout the image. What we can see is suggestive of a Met Box in 1940s to early 1950s paint scheme. This Box was supposed to have an A.R.W. Siren, so if that is a mast just to the left of it rather than a telephone pole then there should be a prominent Siren on top, but there's too much "garbage" in the image quality to be sure.

I'm still troubled by how small the "Box" looks relative to the size of the details in the adjacent building (though there does seem to be a sign in the way which might be obscuring part of it) - there may also be some strange things going on with the "pole" - the resolution is just too poor to be certain of anything. Nonetheless, if the above blowup does indeed show T12 then the description should have been something on the order of "High Street, north side 30 yards west of eastern junction with St. Dunstans Road" - or at least "St Dunstans Road, west side" instead of the actually stated "south side" (the P.H. itself is essentially on the northwest corner of the named junction).  

It's hard to read the angles well at that distance, but the object (or apparent object) in question looks to be about here (noting that the roadway edges have changed a bit since the photo was taken) --



Finally, there is this bit of detail over on the far left of the original photo --


Sure looks like a post and top sign to a Met Box, with suggestions of roof and base. A few details seem a bit too thin, but this might be due to the angles involved. Regardless, there may be too little info in the photo to be absolutely sure it isn't more than just a gate in the fence. Now, a further wrinkle is that there IS marginal coverage of this last location (barely) in a 1962 1:2500 scale OS Map, yet no PCB (Police Call Box) label is shown there. While it is quite common for PCBs not to be designated properly in the 1930s and 1940s maps it's much more rare in the 1960s, and there is no indication in the Met List description that this Box had ever been resited, so its omission at this location on that map seems to weigh against this object actually being a Met Box, though it is still possible.

Regardless, if this second object is in fact T12 then the Met List description is way off, as it would actually be something along the lines of "High Road, south side 5 yards west of Shemingham Avenue", which places it a good 90-95 yards east of St. Dunstan's Road. Like I said, way off.

The pictured location would be in the middle of the south side of the now widened street, but here is about where it would have been --



Wish we had more or better photos. Barring these, it might take getting a good look at the hand drawn maps at the Met to settle things fully for T12.



Hi Banzai,

Two Police Boxes in one photo...... ;D
The one I meant was the corner post on the left hand side of photo (Doesn't look like any GPO Phone box design to me)
I believe it was taken in the 1940's.
It is not in the exact stated location of T12 and here's the present  Google Street map of it's location (right by the green BT Junction box)



The second location, then - yes. Though it would have been about 15 feet north (to the right) of the BT junction box (ie, in the roadway).

As I said though, that is a long way away from the Met List's described location (and on the wrong side of the street as well, though that is more common than you would think). This is nearly 100 yards from St. Dunstan's Road (which is just the other side of the parked car in the original photo). Even that doesn't overly trouble me. What does, though, is the fact that it doesn't show up on that one Ordnance Survey Map from 1962. All may be fully explained, however, if the Box had actually been resited to the described location at the southern junction some time before 1962 and just wasn't logged as "Resited" on the List (also not uncommon).


Apr 15, 2013, 07:48 am #5 Last Edit: Apr 17, 2013, 12:34 am by hb88banzai
BTW - here is an extract of the only 1:2500 scale OS map I've found from between 1936 and 1970 (this is from 1962) --


The apparent third Site we are talking about is just west of the southwest corner of High Street and Shemingham Avenue, towards the middle of frame (the next junction to the left of the "HIGH" in High Street).

As you can see, no "PCB" is marked. Again though, that's hardly definitive in my experience.

The map cuts off in the middle of the next block with that interesting low building of shops on the right in the original photo, and stopping well short of St. Dunstan's Road or The Rose and Crown P.H., so none of the other possible sites are visible. The buildings across the street from this Site are shown (the ones on the right in the original photo), in fact they are also in the 1932 OS map (the next older 1:2500 scale map I can find - which is complete, but too early to show the Box at any of these locations since this Box was commissioned in 1936).


In looking closely at the image again, I think the object on the left couldn't be anything other than a Met Box. The one in the distance is just clutter that the mind forms into something familiar.

This means that the Met List's location description is either wrong or the Box was resited at some point. It is quite annoying not having any OS Map confirmation of either location (Met List vs photo).

dr hue