Rare cream-coloured phone boxes in England granted listed status

The nine examples are described as the last generation of classic public telephone boxes

A cream coloured K8 phone kiosk on Main Road, Wawne, near Hull, East Yorkshire. Photo: Historic England
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Nine cream-coloured phone boxes in and around Hull, Yorkshire — known as K8 kiosks — have been granted Grade II listed status by the UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Historic England.

The kiosks are considered important because they are the last of the line of classic public telephone boxes.

The K8 design was created in 1965-1966 by architect Bruce Martin and the units were installed across the UK between 1968 and 1983, with approximately 11,000 kiosks constructed in total.

However, the vast majority of them were removed by British Telecom after privatisation in 1984, and only about 50 remain in their original locations today.

Most of the surviving K8s are found in and around Hull, where the local council operated the public telephone network from 1902 to 2007, making it the only location in England where this was the case.

The K8s in Hull are painted cream, which was a reflection of the network's independence, as opposed to the red used in other parts of the country.

The newly listed K8s were chosen because of their excellent condition and their contribution to their respective historic streetscapes.

Nine cream-coloured phone boxes have been granted listed status to mark their importance as 'the last in the line of classic telephone boxes'. Photo: Historic England

The director of the Twentieth Century Society, Catherine Croft, expressed delight at the K8s being recognised with a national listing. “The K8 is really the last in the line of classic telephone boxes and their plight has long been a cause for C20 Society,” she said.

Sarah Charlesworth, listing team leader for the North at Historic England, said: “Our old phone boxes are a beloved part of England's heritage and for many of us they've been the scene of memorable moments in our own lives.

“These listed K8s represent the cream of the crop in the Hull area, those which are in the best condition, and which help to enrich their individual historic streetscape location.”

The locations of the listed phone boxes are Main Street in Wawne, High Street in North Ferriby, Boulevard and Princes Avenue at junction with Park Grove (two kiosks) in Hull, Beech Avenue and Church Gate in Hedon, Main Street in Swanland, and Skillings Lane in Brough.

Updated: March 03, 2023, 12:57 PM