The last surviving models of a telephone box, still dotted in and around Hull, East Yorkshire have been listed at Grade II by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on the advice of Historic England.

The phone boxes, known as the K8, were designed between 1965 and 1966 by architect Bruce Martin, who was commissioned by the General Post Office, owners of the public telephone network.

Despite around 11,000 K8 models being installed across the UK, most have since been removed by British Telecom following its privatisation in 1984.

Around 50 remain in their original position, the majority having been replaced first with a recognisable modern phone box, and inevitably the mobile phone.

Student Opps Grant
Pair of K8 phone kiosks on Princes Avenue: Park Gove, Hull. © Historic England Archive
Pair of K8 phone kiosks on Princes Avenue: Park Gove, Hull. © Historic England Archive

Historic England explains that the surviving K8s are in and around Hull because of a quirk of the local council.

Hull is the only place in England where the local council actively ran the public telephone network, having been granted a licence to
operate from 1902 to 2007. The boxes were painted in a cream colour, to distinguish them from the red boxes elsewhere in the country.

Today, the network is still run by an independent company, Kingston Communications.

Sarah Charlesworth, Listing Team Leader for the North at Historic England said the phone boxes were a “beloved part of England’s heritage and for many of us they’ve been the scene of memorable moments in our own lives from furtive conversations with first boyfriends to desperate calls home when we’ve been in a fix.”

Catherine Croft, Director, of ​​The Twentieth Century Society, a charity which campaigns for the preservation of architectural heritage called the K8 phone box “the last in the line of the classic telephone boxes”, adding that they were “the perfect example of how good design – no matter how small – can help enrich our high streets and communities.”

Full list of K8 phone boxes listed at Grade II in East Riding

Main Street, Wawne
High Street, North Ferriby
Boulevard, Hull
Princes Avenue at junction with Park Grove, Hull (two kiosks)
Beech Avenue, Hull
Church Gate, Hedon
Main Street, Swanland
Skillings Lane, Brough

Back to top