Friday 5 April 2024

Police Call Posts seen by accident on a Brompton

The other day I was cycling around London - as you do - and I stumbled upon an old Police Call Box. These are almost mini versions of the larger ones made famous by Dr Who and his TARDIS. Perhaps unlike me, if you use buses, three come along at once. Well, it was a little bit like this, as after spotting one, another three came along!

These little call posts were made in the late 1920's and located throughout the City. Made of cast iron, they were used right up until the 1960's. They allowed members of the public to call a police station and to contact officers in the local area. In the mid 1950's there were 600 of them but decommissioned not long after only a handful now remain. 

The first that caught my attention was along Embankment. I had stopped to take a photo of the Thames but this became my focus. 

The second I spotted was near Guildhall. As I took the photo some tourists were more interested in my Brompton than this call box or the surroundings of Guildhall Yard. 

Thinking that this was all a bit of a strange coincidence spotting two, a third was rather spectacular and had its light set high up, very different to the other two. 

The last one I spotted - again totally by accident - was outside St Botolph's Church. This was the final one I saw and I still cannot quite grasp how my random cycle route seemed to somehow yield four of these. I suppose London is a little bit like that, insofar as you never really know what aspect of its history will reveal itself to you. 

Apart from the one at Guildhall and another near St Paul's (that I didn't pass by on this ride) all of these other call posts have remained in plain sight and almost invisible to me. These call posts have been granted Grade II listed status and as such now have some protection. I think that in the near future I will ride to them all and get a photo of each - with a Brompton propped up against them naturally!

Until next time, stay safe out there people!

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