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Payphones of the 1980s: in Great Britain they want to update the list of attractions

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jun10,2024

Payphones of the 1980s: Britain wants to update the list of monuments

Payphone from the 1980s/John Maher/C20 Society

In the UK, the Twentieth Century Society has applied for monument status for the KX100 payphones in England, Scotland and Wales. They are scheduled to be dismantled next year.

Three payphones from the 1980s in Great Britain want to be included in the list of monuments. The Guardian writes about it.

The publication says these booths represent “the ultimate flowering of design-led telecommunications infrastructure in the public realm.”

We're trying to save some of the underrated KX100 payphones, the latest in the public phone line. They may be considered “ugly ducklings” compared to the iconic red phone boxes, but they deserve a place in the history books, said Oli Marshall, director of the preservation campaign.

The design of BT's KX100 payphone caused controversy as soon as it arrived in 1985 to replace the classic red telephone boxes. It was called “fresh” and “absolutely ugly”.

Payphones of the 1980s 1980s: UK wants to update landmark list

1980s Payphone/C20 Society/Liquid Light

At the same time, the company advertised these booths as vandal-proof, spacious and wheelchair-friendly. And since the glass doors did not reach the ground, they were easier to clean, and they less often smelled of urine, which became a characteristic feature of red payphones.

Three payphones-monuments will be dismantled in 2025: on Dunsop Bridge in Lancashire (England ); in the village of Maaruig on the Isle of Harris (Scotland); at the Center for Alternative Technologies in Machynlleth (Wales).

Payphones of the 1980s : in Great Britain they want to update the list of sights

Payphone of the 1980s/C20 Society/Liquid Light

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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