Sunday, September 14, 2014


There was once a time when you had to queue to use public phone boxes in Brigg.
We are thinking of the ones on Central Square and Atkinson Avenue, in particular.
Earlier this morning  (Sunday) we heard a voice while walking through an empty Market Place. It was coming from the public call box outside the Steel Rooms, at the edge of Spring's Parade.
A young man was making a brief call and that set us thinking how long it is since we've used  public call boxes with any regularity in Brigg. 
We think it was probably when skippering one of the Brigg hockey teams (at least 15 years ago, probably longer) when home teams were required to phone the result through to Yorkshire League HQ after the match.
We'd leave the happy throng at the Queen's Arms pub, in the days when Bob and Sue Nicholson were mine hosts, and nip out to the call box near the White Horse to ring through the score.
These days, of course, everyone (almost) has a mobile phone, particularly the younger generation.
We used to try and phone Brigg Town cricket results through to the Lincolnshire League from the phone on the bar at the Black Bull. But sometimes it was too noisy and we had to nip out to the public call box in the Market Place, near the bank. 
There was no text messaging back then, of course. And no sports league websites like there are today, through which you can key in the entire scorecard.
You have to wonder about the economics of today's public call boxes. But they provide a valuable public service and are there as a back-up, particularly if people without a mobile to hand spot something that requires the assistance of our emergency services.
It would be a sad day if phone company bosses pulled the plug on any of them dotted around town. 


Ken Harrison said...

While the Emergency numbers - 999 and 112 remain free....for other numbers it is cashless, but one needs a debit/credit card to complete the call....
For info 112 is the pan-European Emergency number and is treated with the same priority as 999.....amazingly, it's been operational in the UK since 1996.... it's a useful number to remember when travelling in an EU country...

Ken Harrison said...

...some of us older folk remember the 'A' and 'B' coin boxes....One put money in, dialled the number and pressed button 'A' once one got thro'....if it was engaged, one got the money back by pressing button 'B'....
Certainly, the phone box near the White Horse had one of these A&B coin boxes well into the 80's.....I once watched a guy purposely go into the box to press button 'B'....if luckly, money would drop out....and the guy would then check the other phone boxes in the same manner in case someone had forgotten to reclaim their must have been rewarding as the guy did it quite often.....oddly enough, the guy was middle aged; lived in a big private house; was a trained craftman and was reasonably well-known about the town.....