Markets and Street Life, London

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  • Telephone  - Black
    Telephone - Black
    by wabat
  • Telephone - Model K2
    Telephone - Model K2
    by wabat
  • Telephones - Model K6
    Telephones - Model K6
    by wabat
  • Regina1965's Profile Photo

    Old Spitalfields Market.

    by Regina1965 Updated Jan 6, 2013

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    At Spitalfield market.
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    Old Spitalfields Market is one of London´s attractions. It is a beautiful inside market located in a beautiful Victorian market hall.

    In AD 300/400 on this site was a Roman cemetary. In 1682 the first market opened here, John Belch, a silk thrower, of which there were many in this area, was the first one to open a food market here by King Charles II. For centuries it was a food market, with meat, fish, fruits and vegetables. In 1991 the wolesale fruit vegetable market moved to a new market, New Spitalfields market in Sherrin Road in Leyton, London.

    There is a market here every day of the week, but on weekends it is just crowded, one can almost not visit it or enjoy it as it gets so crowded. And seeing that it is a famous market then it is a bit more expensive than other markets I have visited.

    Here one can buy various things, lot of clothes stall, both new, designer and vintage clothes, antique and various items. Also collectior´s items, f.ex. records.

    There are a lot of restaurants here and cafés as well.

    The entrances to the market are called gates and I am sure the names of the gates have got a lot of history, Huguenot Gate, John Balch Gate, Spitfire Gate, Punchinello Gate, Sherrin Gate, Montagu Gate, Wollstonecraft Gate and Mulberry Gate.

    In 2011 Old Spitalfields market got the prize of "Best Private Market" in the UK.

    Opening hours: Sunday-Friday from 09:00-17:00. Saturday: 10:00-17:00. On Sundays there is a general market here as well. On various week-days there are various markets, on Thursdays: antiques and vintage clothes and on Fridays: art and fashion.

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  • Borough Market, Fresh and Fabulous

    by Mariajoy Written May 21, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Fruit and Veg
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    Borough Market is one of London's most well known and historic produce markets. There has been a market on this site since the Romans. During the week it sells to the food industry, but on Saturdays it is open to the general public and is popular with restauranteurs, gourmets, locals, trendys and tourists.

    You can buy all kinds of fabulous food here, bread, cheese, meat (you will find boar meat sausages, rabbit, venison burgers etc etc... ) as well as fish, oysters, and all kinds of fruit and veg as well as cakes and sweets and chutnies and oooohhhh the list is endless and you won't leave empty handed. Almost every stall has a taster plate, where you can try a bit of sausage or cheese or bread or whatever before you buy, but you won't be disappointed, the quality of produce available here is superb.
    Be warned though, just about everything on sale here is made, grown, produced by the traders themselves and they come from all over the country to sell, these are not supermarket prices. It's not cheap, but you won't find better quality anywhere else in the UK.

    Towards the end of the day some of the fruit and veg is sold off cheaply, it's worth hanging on.

    The website is fantastic, check it out for more details.

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  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Borough Market

    by sue_stone Updated Feb 19, 2007

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    Fresh meat at the markets
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    Borough Market is a foodies paradise! This historic market dates back to 43AD, though has only been trading on its current site for around 250 years. The market is filled with stalls selling a huge range of products - a mix of gourmet items and 'ordinary' items. There are a few different sections to the market - Crown Square, the Green Market, the Jubilee Market, and the shops and restaurants which surround the market.

    The market is open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It is a very popular place and is always very crowded, especially on a Saturday. Friday lunch times are also very hectic, with all of the nearby office workers descending on the market to buy their lunch. If you are in the area on a Friday, queue up with the suits and buy your lunch - it may take a while, but it is worth the wait.

    Things you can buy/see at the market include:
    -the freshest fruit & vegetables
    -full range of meat and poultry, including whole (headless) deer caught that morning
    -bread, pastries and cakes
    -fresh pasta
    -cheese, cheese, cheese
    -hot meat sandwiches, filled baguettes, excellent coffee
    -excellent bacon and other deli products

    We have made it our mission to taste-test all of the different chocolate brownies for sale at the market - after extensive research I can report that the best ones actually come from a small shop on Stoney Street (which borders the market), called Konditor & Cook.

    Have also had some excellent fresh pasta from the markets, tasty bread and an amazing Treacle Pudding.

    Opening hours
    Thursdays: 11am to 5pm
    Fridays: 12pm to 6pm
    Saturdays 9am to 4pm

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Women's Travel
    • Budget Travel

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  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Broadway Market

    by sue_stone Written Oct 14, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Yummy cupcakes
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    Love Borough Market but don't love the crowds - perhaps Broadway Market is for you! Broadway Market is a farmers market located between Bethnal Green and Hackney, just south of London Fields. It is open from 9am-5pm every Saturday.

    Ok, it is tiny compared to Borough, with no where near the selection of goods, but it is growing on a weekly basis and soon they hope to have 120 stalls each week. Even so, we were pleasantly surprised with the selection of goods available, recognising some of the vendors from Borough, and discovering some new ones as well. We found it a lot easier to browse and shop here as there was room to move.

    The shops lining the street are also worth a browse. Perhaps you a feeling peckish and have a hankering for a some hot jellied eel, or need to buy a gift, or want to relax in one of the small cafes and watch the market activity.

    Broadway Market has a great community feel to it and I know we will venture back again soon - looking forward to seeing it grow and prosper.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining

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  • Regina1965's Profile Photo

    Portobello Green Market - Vintage & fashion market

    by Regina1965 Updated Jan 13, 2013

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    Portobello Green Market.
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    One of the markets at Portobello Market is Portobello Green Market. It is located at the northern end of Portobello Market - further away in Notting Hill. I always enter the market from Notting Hill Gate station and walk down to the Portobello Green Market - which takes one all the way through the main market area.

    At Portobello Green Market one can find a great selection of vintage and new clothes. There is an excellent selection of vintage fur-coats here, with quite a few stalls specialising in vintage fur. There are more than 800 stalls here and it can get really crowded.

    On different days of the week there are different stalls here. On Fridays mostly vintage, antigues, retro. On Saturdays designer clothes, accessories and fashion. On Sundays clothes, books and CD´s and records.

    This is such a lively area of the market. Walking further north is the end of the market with vintage clothe´s stalls lining the street. Opposite Portobello Green Market is Acklam Village Market, with more vintage clothes and the restaurant stalls.

    Walking down the path, with myriads of stalls, to leave the market, one can get stuck and has to follow the crowds. But one is stuck anyway and the long walk up to Notting Hill Gate station takes quite a while, so I sometimes leave Portobello Road Market here behind Portobello Green Market.

    Opening hours: Friday-Sunday from 07:00-18:00.

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  • Regina1965's Profile Photo

    The Elephant & Castle market & Londons oldest mall

    by Regina1965 Updated Feb 15, 2013

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    Elephant & Castle - The sign on the Mall.
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    There is a market in Elephant & Castle by the shopping center, called "The Elephant & Castle market" - there are others in this area, but this is the market where I go often and have bought quite a few items. F.ex. 2 pullowers, the design of which I love. I had bought 2 exactly the same in Punky Fish in Notting Hill and thought the price was a bit steep, but bought them anyway. Only days after to find the same pullowers in Elephant & Castle market half the price - so I bought 2 more. That is why I own pullowers in 4 different colours ;)

    The market is located in a "cavern" by the shopping mall, which incidentally is the oldest mall in London. The first photo I add is of the red elephant by one of the entrances of the shopping mall. There are so many ethnic stores in the mall, to me it looks like an indoor market. I remember visiting it 25 years ago and it looked different back then. And of course there are the usual stores here, Tesco Metro and Poundland etc.

    The underground is by the Mall and behind it is the train-station, so this is quite a busy area.

    Both the market and the mall make this area quite an interesting place to visit. If it weren´t for this roundabout from Hell with the tunnels that lead to everywhere and nowhere - but that is another tip for warning and dangers in London ;) Of course Londoners are used to it, but for us visitors, who don´t live here it can get quite confusing.

    The market is open on Monday-Saturday from 10:00-18:00. Sunday: closed.

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  • Regina1965's Profile Photo

    Queensway and Queensway market.

    by Regina1965 Updated Jun 15, 2010

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    Queensway market.
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    Queensway is one of the streets in London which are buzzing with life with lots of shops and bars and the oldest department store in London, Whiteley shopping center (see my tip).

    Queensway is in Bayswater so all the surrounding streets are crowded with hotels and guesthouses. I once stayed in Pembridge Palace hotel, which is one block from Queensway (see my tip).

    There is an inside market in Queensway, Queensway market, which is quite interesting, I have added photos on the market here. It has got many small stores and even a corridor called Psychic Mew where you can talk to mediums and get tarot and rune readings.
    There are not many places in London where you can buy fake brand-names like Dior and Chanel etc. but in this market there is a store which sells only fake brand-name clothes. What I found interesting is that there were so many Russians there and some of the store signs were written in Russian as well. There is a Russian café there and a Mediterranean café, a Brazilian shop, an Afro-market and Arabic stores, so this indoor-market is quite international.

    There is almost everything in there, a hairdresser, food-store, jewellers, Internet, electronic repair, a computer market, antique etc. etc. So this makes for an interesting visit and I always check it out when in London.

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  • sylvie-uk's Profile Photo

    Borough market

    by sylvie-uk Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    borough market

    The market has been here since 1756 but there has been a market around this site since the 13th century.
    You can find a wide range of vegetables, fruits, cheeses, meats, seafoods.
    It is faired that it faces extinction from time to time due to developments.
    It s situated by london bridge and is open on fridays from 12pm to 6pm and saturdays from 9am to 4pm.

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    • Food and Dining

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  • Regina1965's Profile Photo

    Shepherd's Bush market.

    by Regina1965 Updated Feb 23, 2013

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    I at Shepherd's Bush market.
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    Shepherd's Bush market is in an area in London called Shepherd's Bush. I stayed in a hotel close to this area for 2 weeks in May 2010 so I visited this market and area often. This is an ethnic market, with many Indian and Muslim shops and outside stalls. There are also African stalls there. I expected this market to be much bigger though. There are household goods, clothes, halal food and many jewellers there. Many of the shops had a strong mouldy smell, no offence.

    The market is in between Uxbridge Road and Goldhawk Road, both roads are lined with shops, mostly Indian shops and Arabic shops and there are so many Indian fabric stores in Goldhawk Road that I have nowhere in London seen so many shops of this kind in one street. Uxbridge Road has got many Indian stores as well and very good Arabic food stores.

    In 2012 I stayed for 1 month and 3 weeks in Colliers Wood in South-London, and the next stop to Colliers Wood is Tooting Broadway, I saw the same thing there, Indian stores all over. And then again in other areas, f.ex. Bethnal Green in East-London.

    Shepherd's Bush is a very lively area and much cheaper than down-town London. But after they built Westfield shopping centre in this area in 2008 the prices are going up.

    I stayed again in Hammersmith/Shepherds Bush in February and March 2013, love it here.

    The market is open everyday (closed Sundays) from 9:30-17. Thursdays 9:30-13:30.

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    Borough Market

    by jo104 Written Oct 20, 2005

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    hares & phesants

    Feel the need for cheese, actually you'll find an array of delicious foods in this covered market.
    Fresh breads, dairy, fruit, vegetables, olives, cold meats, cheese, pastries, herbs, flowers etc etc - I even went past a stall doing stuffed pita bread with chorizo - yummy

    The market dates back to the 18th centuary & has been used in several films, Bridget Jone's house was here as was the restaurant of the fight scene. Harry Potter & Lock Stock and 2 smoking barrells.

    Beware of walking through here hungry your mouth will be watering for sure. The food is of a high quality but not necessarily "cheap"

    The only days the market is on is Friday 12pm - 6pm & Saturday 9am - 4pm

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Food and Dining

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  • Smithfield Meat Market

    by Mariajoy Updated Jan 10, 2006

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    No place for a vegetarian :)
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    Designed by Sir Horace Jones and opened in 1868, this famous London Meat Market gets into action VERY early at around 4am (Mon-Fri) and it is all over by 8am. I visited on a Saturday and it was very quiet with just security staff wandering round. It has recently undergone renovation and looks great.

    On this site Queen Mary I had Protestants burned at the stake between 1553 and 1558. Up until around the mid 1800's cattle were still driven here to be slaughtered.

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    Borough Market and round about

    by Spincat Updated Feb 2, 2008

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    Borough market
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    A wonderful food market under vaulted iron railway arches by London Bridge station.
    Open Fridays aprox 12 noon - 6pm and Saturday 9am -4pm.

    This is *the* place for fine organic food. Some of the vegetable stalls have very reasonably priced produce, although this is mainly the luxury end of the market. Shop around a bit and you'll be able to find some bargains. There is also lots of free sampling going on!

    I was surprised when I first came here: it is much more like a French or Spanish market than anything in the London I know.

    Great for breads, preserves, meat, vegetables, cheese. There's a lovely Spanish deli; a stall selling ostrich meat (take home an ostrich burger?); juice stalls displaying what appears to be grass juice (something horribly healthy no doubt!), and some first class Bakers - I particularly recommend the Chelsea buns.

    Lots of little cafes in and around the market - try the one with the barbeque and paella pan outside, along the railings of Southwark cathedral - and a couple of pricy restaurants like 'Roast'.

    Nearby, as a respite from shopping, you'll find the wonderful C16th coaching inn (pictured). This is 'the George', 77 Borough High St (it is a little set back from the street in a tiny cobbled alley). The inn was on a coaching route to Canterbury and boasts that Shakespeare and Dickens drank here. It once had 3 galleries, but only the spendid one in my photo remains. And, voted into the top 40 of the 'Beer in the evening' website is the nearby Market Porter

    Also nearby - Southwark cathedral, the Golden Hind (the boat in which Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the world), riverside walks, the ruins of Winchester Hall.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining

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  • Regina1965's Profile Photo

    Petticoat Lane Market in the City.

    by Regina1965 Updated Jan 12, 2013

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    Petticoat Lane Market
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    I first visited Petticoat Lane Market in 2004 and since then it has been one of may favourite markets in London. We were buying wholesale back then and the prices at this market were very good. There are also good stores which sell watches wholesale here by the market, I have bought some beautiful watches here.

    It is a very busy market - especially weekends, then it is almost impossible passing through here. On weekdays the market is pretty empty and one can see the numbers in the street, where the stalls are supposed to be. But if one walks further down into the market there are still some good stalls there weekdays, from Monday-Friday. Especially around Wenthworth street, stretching downward to Commercial Street. I have bought way too much in this market through the years ;)

    On sale here are mostly women´s clothes and accessories, bags and jewellery, but also men´s and children´s clothes and music, shoes etc, etc. I love how lively and vibrant this market is. In one stall there is always blaring music, mostly Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and some old-timers.

    The main market is open on Sundays from 09:00-15:00. There is a smaller market on weekdays from 10:00-14:30. This is quite a big market stretching into several streets and down into Commercial street and Aldgate East. In the section by Aldgate East leather goods are on sale.

    Petticoat Lane literally means undergarment lane - Petticoat Lane doesn´t exist anymore - it was changed to Middlesex Lane in 1846 - referring to an undergarment market was not thought to be proper ;)

    This is a typical London market, it is not at all upscale like the market at Notting Hill. Here mostly black women and men shop - and of course everybody else - I can be seen there quite often on my visits to London.

    I remember a word of advice in one of Planxty´s tips - don´t eat here, there are several stalls which sell food here - Fergy advices against them as they might not be approved by the sanitary inspection. But one night Fergy took me through this area and told me that one of the stalls here were amongst the best ones in London. He was referring to Tubby Isaac´s seafood stall - which allegedly is amongst the best seafood stalls in London (see my second photo taken in the dark).

    I went on a guided Jack-the-Ripper tour and the guide took us through Petticoat Lane Market in the dark as they were finishing off - and showed us a house which might have been the home of Jack-the-Ripper - in the middle of the market.

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    An old but changing place.

    by planxty Updated Apr 7, 2011

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    Whitechapel Market, London, UK.
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    update, April 2011.

    I like to try and keep my tips up to date so here is the latest news. If you want to get to see Whitchapel Market, you had better be quick. Information from a well-informed friend of mine is that the market is being closed and relocated to the Middlesex Street area. The reason? you won't believe this but our local street market, which has been there for many decades, is being removed so they can build a cycle lane for visitors to the 2012 Olympics.

    This makes me incandescent with rage. I do not know a single Londoner who actually wanted the Olympics in the first place, I certainly didn't. We are all paying a fortune via our Council Tax for facilities none of us will ever use, all so some politicians and "worthies" could indulge in their usual self-aggrandisement.

    The major road junction to the East of the market is also now closed to pedestrians without a huge detour so I had to escort a 91 year old lady I know home the other day as she was terrified to try and negotiate it. Why? So a few people, and it will be a few people, can cycle happily to a two week event. This is clearly ridiculous. The so-called "legacy", new jobs etc. are a joke.

    OK, end of rant, but get to the market soon before it dies to enhance the "green" credentials of a few people.

    Whilst there has been a market on Whitechapel Road for many, many years, like most things it changes all the time. I know the market was initially fruit and vegetable based but now it is very diverse, and in many respects reflects the very multicultural nature of the local area. I hope the photo gives some sense of this. Stalls with sarees sit side by side with fruit and veg stalls, fish stalls, stalls selling Bollywood videos, unlocking mobile 'phones, selling just about anything you care to name, in fact.

    I would not recommend the clothing or footwear as much of it is of very poor quality, although some of the fruit and vegetable stalls are great. They carry some really exotic items that you would be hard pressed to get in a supermarket, and the stall holders will even tell you how to cook them if you don't know. I also like the fish stall near Brady Street (pictured) as you can get some unusual Asian fish, again not readily available in a supermarket.

    As a people watching exercise, it is absolutely superb.

    The market is open from about 0900 to about 1600 every day, except Sunday.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

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    The Red Telephone Box

    by wabat Written Jul 27, 2013

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    Telephone - Model K2
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    London as a city probably has more landmarks and features instantly recognisable world wide than any other city in the world. While some of these are major buildings and monuments some are items of a rather more mundane nature. Everyone knows about London’s red buses, its black taxis and the Tube.

    Anyone who has visited London, or the UK generally, will also be familiar with the countries famous red telephone boxes and letter boxes. Indeed both items have been exported worldwide and can still be seen in active service in most of the few remaining outposts of Empire. I must say my recent sighting of the red letter letter box at Georgetown’s Post Office on Ascension Island rekindled nostalgic memories as I journeyed towards the UK.

    I digress, not unusual for me.

    Here I want to tell you a little about the British telephone box or more specifically about the red ones commissioned by the General Post Office (GPO) which managed telecommunications prior to its split into British Telecom and the Post Office in 1981 and the privatisation of British Telecom in 1984.

    The first thing to note is that while they all look the same they are not.

    In 1921 Britain's first standard kiosk (phone box), the imaginatively named Kiosk No 1 (abbreviated to K1) was designed by the GPO itself. While there were over time a few K1 models it was not especially well liked and a competition was held to find a replacement.

    A number of designs were received and the then recently established Royal Fine Art Commission was summoned into action. The Commission was formed in May 1924 by an Act of Parliament with the purpose of examining questions of "public amenity or artistic importance referred to it by government departments and other...bodies".

    A design by Giles Gilbert Scott was selected by the Commission and K2 came into being. Over 10,000 K2’s were installed mainly in London and of these just over 200 remain today. The remaining K2’s are Grade 2 heritage listed structures. My main photograph is of a K2. K2s were costly to produce and not rolled out beyond London. The prototype K2 box can be found in the entrance arch of the Royal Academy at Piccadilly. It is made of wood. Is it real? I don’t know.

    Various other largely unsuccessful models ( again imaginatively named - K3, K4 and K5) followed the K2.

    In 1935 King George V celebrated his Silver Jubilee and to commemorate this the GPO commissioned the now Sir Giles Gilbert Scott to design a new kiosk - K6 eventuated. Approximately 60,000 of these were installed across the UK and around 10,000 exist and it is this K6 which has come to represent the famous red telephone box. Picture 2 attached shows two K6s outside the British Museum. Just over 2,000 K6s are heritage listed, of which more than 90%, are actually K6 variants.

    The last K6s were installed in 1968. Prior to the breakup of the GPO in 1981 K7 came out (only a handful installed) as did the rather plain K8 (around 11,000). British Telecom produced a rather pedestrian offering in 1985 and installed around 100,000 up to 1996 by which stage the advent of mobile phones and increased vandalism had sounded the death knell for further public phones of the street variety, at least. What remains now seem to be more there for street decoration than making telephone calls.

    It is possible that you will come across a black telephone box when you visit London (picture three). These are in fact painted K6s. In the 1980s British Telecom sold a number of kiosks to the private sector but retained its monopoly on the red colour and thus had them painted black.

    Should this review have excited an interest in Britain’s red telephone boxes you should start your further research here - http://www.the-telephone-box.co.uk/. Additionally this site includes detailed pictures pointing out the distinguishing features of various boxes for any prospective phone box hunters among you.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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