It was in one of these kiosks that I learned how to use the old A-B coin box telephones. This was deemed to be a necessary skill for a boy scout to learn in case of emergencies, although I’m not sure I could remember how to use one now.
For the record the box in the photo stands outside the market hall in Ashton. It is a Grade II listed K6 telephone kiosk designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott that was introduced in 1935 to celebrate the silver jubilee of King George V. I sure he would have preferred a gold clock or a pair of cufflinks.
Sadly, the old kiosks are few and far between. With phones becoming ubiquitous in the home and then the advent of the mobile phone, public call box became more and more unnecessary. The one above is now a Grade I listed building.
The word kiosk comes from the Turkish and Persian for a small, open pavilion, similar to the Hippodrome on the right in Constantinople.
I saw quite a few of this variety while on holiday recently, some on the concourse at Schipol railway station and others on the waterfront in Cape Town selling ice-cream, pizzas and other snacks.
Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of those, so we’ll have to make do with this shop above, also in Ashton, which calls itself The Kiosk.