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Police Boxes

Police Boxes in Wales
by Pete Darrington

I've now managed to acquire photos of all the Newport Police Boxes bar one. Sadly, only the blue box (pictured left) survives today, the rest were demolished in 1991 because they were structurally defective.

Not TARDIS like, but not shed like either, the boxes were made of concrete and based loosely on the Scottish/Metropolitan design - i.e. stacked roof with lamp. The phone panel is in the middle of one wall, they have glazed units on two sides and a glazed door. The glazing bars are wooden. The glass has either been boarded over or painted in the example on the left.

The box is a listed building I'm told, and at some point the council maintaining the box saw fit to paint the fourth Doctor's scarf on it. It's in Somerton Crescent , Somerton, which is on the outskirts of the town center of Newport . The photo was sent by Dave Philips who lives about 20 miles away and was blissfully unaware of the box until recently.

Newport Police Boxes should be cream And red in colour, but over the years they seem to have been painted over with just cream or grey.

All these shots of grey boxes come from the archives of Bob Freshwater, who's homepage is an encyclopedia on telephones and telephone based communication devices. These three boxes pictured here were to be found in Cardiff Road , Beaufort Road and Ridgeway Avenue (respectively) but as I said earlier, were destroyed in 1991. Bob's website has pages devoted to telephone kiosks, with the Newport Police Boxes getting a mention.

This interior shot of the box that used to stand on Cardiff Road shows quite clearly the colour scheme that was employed by the Gwent Police for their boxes. Bob guesses that all the hardware parts (including the lamp and phone flap) were manufactured by the GPO and so were painted red before they left the factory. The concrete sections were painted cream before assembly, which made up the distinct colour combination.

Bob was also informed by the Police that there was a box on Malpas Road also, but he never saw this one. However, he did manage to salvage much of the hardware from the boxes before they were destroyed including actual telephones, a lamp and a door.












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