I had a wander around London today with the ever lovely Joseph, and am pleased to report that I managed to see some nicer elements of London that I’ve not previously seen – hurrah! The walk around did me a whole heap of good, especially as I’ve been very disenfranchised with London for quite a long while now!
The initial plan had been to visit the maze in Trafalgar Square, however the queue was massive, and it’s really not that big, so we decided to give it a miss in the end.
The back-up plan was to go boating on the Serpentine in Hyde Park (something I’ve never done before, and would have really like to do), however when we got to Hyde Park the heavens opened and we had to take shelter under a tree to get out of the rain, so that plan was also dashed!
Having bashed the BBC Weather forecast on twitter all morning (as it predicted heavy rain, despite dazzling sunshine), I reckon that I only have myself to blame for accruing such bad karma! Auntie Beeb – so much more powerful than you think heh!
On the way to lunch, we happened across an old police call box near to Baker Street. Joe had already seen these dotted around London before, however, this was my first one. Though I tried to play it cool and not come across a geek, he instantly sussed that I wanted to go investigate further, and dragged me back 😛
At this point of the post, I want to call this out, and state that I am writing this post under duress, applied, of course, by Joseph! 😛 He reckoned that after my barely contained excitement at seeing the box that I was going to blog all about it, and that I was also going to provide you with some history on the blue box right about now… and he’s wrong… so so wrong…! 😉
A police box is a British telephone kiosk or callbox located in a public place for the use of members of the police, or for members of the public to contact the police. Unlike an ordinary callbox, its telephone is located behind a hinged door so it can be used from the outside, and the interior of the box is, in effect, a miniature police station for use by police officers.
Police boxes pre-date the era of mobile telecommunications; now police officers, in many countries, carry two-way radios and/or mobile phones rather than relying on fixed kiosks. Many boxes are now disused or have been withdrawn from service.
The typical police box contained a telephone linked directly to the local police station allowing patrolling officers to keep in contact with the station, reporting anything unusual or requesting help if necessary. A light on top of the box would flash to alert an officer that he/she was requested to contact the station. Members of the public could also use the phone to contact a police station in an emergency.
British police boxes were usually blue, except in Glasgow, where they were red until the late sixties. In addition to a telephone, they contained equipment such as an incident book and a first aid kit. Today the image of the blue police box is a trademark of the BBC as it is widely associated with the science fiction television programme Doctor Who, in which the protagonist’s time machine, a TARDIS, is in the shape of a 1960s British police box.