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Police Boxes

Police Boxes of the past
originally compiled by Pete Darrington

3 photographs of the Barnet by-pass box from Jonathan Sant. Taken in 1980.

Barnet-By-Pass Police Box sent to me by Steve Truebrit. This pic is 800x600.

The Barnet by-pass box from the book 'Street Furniture' by Henry Aaron. Pic from Tony Myers.
A metropolitan mk3 outside Camden Underground in the early 70's. Pic from James Russell
These photos are from the '1936 Radio Show' an exhibition on modern telecommunications. They shows the Metropolitan Police's stand. It's purpose was to educate the public in the use of Police Boxes and the diagram on the wall (behind the Mk1 box in the picture) illustrated how Police Boxes formed part of the police communications network. The large building in center of the diagram is the former New Scotland Yard HQ on London's Victoria Embankment. From Stephen Carter.
Photocopies from Scotland Yard Press pictures detailing the destruction of the Metropolitan police Box at the end of the 1960's. The third picture depicts the famous 'Police Box graveyards' where boxes that had been pulled up whole were deposited on my mass by the demolition firm. Photos from Jonathan Hufnagel Giba.
Stephen Carter has sent me plenty of stills from the short documentary that BBC2 screened about police boxes during the early 1990s. This excerpt comes from a Met promo film on how to use the boxes.
Another still from the same documentary.
Glasgow Police Press photo of the new call boxes in use, during 1931. Photo from Alan Morton.
Another of James Russell's photos from the early 70's. Another Mk3 box, this time at Heathrow Airport.
A Mk2 met box that used to be at Hendon's Police training School, but sadly only a Mk3 remains there now. From the photo, you can see that the box's front window frames have been replaced, as has the phone panel. Pic: J Russell.
One of 4 pictures in the Hulton Getty Picture library depicting Police Boxes. This one is of a Mk1 in use at the end of the 1920s. Sent by Matt Crocker.
Another Hulton Getty Library picture. This one is a Metropolitan mk2 during WWII, heavily protected by sandbags - Police Boxes were vital communications lines during the war and had to be preserved as much as possible.
Two more Hulton Getty Library pictures, both of Mk1 boxes. These two illustrate officer usage.
This photo illustrates Police Box regional variation: This style of wooden box was used in Luton. Scan from Stephen Carter.
Another regional variant - this time a Manchester Police Box. Picture courtesy
Two photos of one of the 'Mile End' Boxes - Each of the two stood at either end of the Blackwall Tunnel in East London and were used as Fire Fighting boxes by the Fire Brigade after the Met had abandoned them. These pics were taken in the early 80's when they were no longer in use and became heavily vandalised. Ultimately they were demolished.
A photo of one of the first Police Boxes ever deployed, in Newcastle Upon Tyne in the late 1920s.
Another pair of Stephen Carter screen captures, both from a training film made for officers on the new police communication kiosks, made in the late 1920s.
Another regional variation, this time from Scarborough.
A photocopy of a press image used by the Met to promote the use of the new boxes.
This picture was contributed by Nick Cooper. It's taken from an Orbis periodical on World War 2 and illustrates how the box was used to control an air raid siren. Note that the window frames are not white. This box was almost certainly destroyed at the end of the sixties.
Another Metropolitan Box that housed an air raid siren, this one heavily sandbagged. Image from Stephen Carter.
A Glasgow Mk.1 that has since been demolished. This scan comes from the Gavin Stamp guide to Architecture. Scanned by Jonathan Sant.

Two more images of boxes deployed in the Sunderland area, the first to be used in the UK. Pics from Tony Myers.

Yet another regional variation, this time from Swansea. This looks to be the best constructed wooden style police box I've seen.
A metropolitan police box in front of the Tower of London on Tower Hill during the 1930s.
Another photocopy of a Scotland Yard press photo regarding the new boxes, this one illustrates police officers being trained in the use of the new boxes.


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