The Classic British Red Telephone Box : A National Charity Appeal for the K6 Jubilee.

(Mike Cattel at Flickr : Creative Commons)
(Mike Cattel at Flickr : Creative Commons)

The Classic British Red Telephone Box : A National Charity Appeal for the K6 Jubilee.

This week has been specially nominated as 'Red Telephone Box Awareness Week' when we are asked to spare a thought and a few coppers for the oft-forgotten K6 Red Telephone Box.

As a celebrity K6 myself having had a long and distinguished career in show business I feel compelled to help those less fortunate than myself.

As you may be aware my career in film and TV stretched back as far as 'The Ipcress File' with Michael Caine and has also included many years on 'Coronation Street' as well as episodes of 'The Sweeney' and 'Minder'.

Of course my most famous role was in Bill Forsyth's 'Local Hero' where I was originally cast as an extra in the film, so I was standing around an awful lot as extras usually do.

Me on the set of 'Local Hero'

(Tom Jervis at Flickr : Creative Commons)
(Tom Jervis at Flickr : Creative Commons)

However my part got played up more than I expected and I actually got a star billing, not to mention appearing on all the publicity posters everywhere. I have to be honest though because they did use a stunt double for the 'Aurora Borealis' scene

As there were drunken actors involved and BT wouldn't guarantee the insurance it was considered too risky. Peter Reigert had to be stopped having a pee inside the stuntbox. He didn't understand the expression 'Give us a tinkle'.

Nevertheless it opened up a lot of opportunities for me especially when they started phasing out the old phone boxes and we became quite a rarity. I got many invites to appear at village fêtes and church bazaars.

Little smiling children would queue to get their pictures taken trying to kick the crap out of the windows. Luckily I was pre-warned and had them glazed throughout in 4mm toughened glass.

I became so well-known that comedian Vic Reeves attended an audition for 'Celebrity Stars in Your Eyes' and proclaimed

"Tonight Matthew, I'm going to be a K6 Red Jubilee Telephone Box and I would like to dedicate my performance to the designer himself, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, God Bless Him!"

Of course he sang that old Abba classic 'Ring!Ring!" and glided gracefully across the audition room with hand cast glazing frames resplendent in the light and exquisite brass tapered pins sparkling for the occasion.

Sadly, it was not to be as they felt his performance was too avant-garde and the stage probably wouldn't have taken the weight anyway. Turns out that series was won by an extra from Dr Who, so maybe two phone boxes was asking too much for the one show.

The queue outside the dole office

(markhillary at Flickr : Creative Commons)
(markhillary at Flickr : Creative Commons)

Nowadays I'm reduced to the odd brief appearance on Candid Camera type shows as well as Youtube and it's ilk.

You can imagine people's faces when they turn around and notice the phone box that was there 5 minutes ago has suddenly disappeared.

How much fun can a man have.

Anyway, at least I never need to use a mobile as I can use my restored Bakelite telephone provided I have enough cash for the coinbox.

However, as I have been saying this is a charity appeal for some desperate souls who are living on the poverty line in dire straits even today in the 21st Century. As we know these poor maltreated individuals were absolutely decimated in the infamous ethnic cleansing pogrom of B.T. in the early 80's inspired by the draconian policies of the Thatcher years.

K6's forced to sleep rough

(doug88888 at Flickr: Creative Commons)
(doug88888 at Flickr: Creative Commons)

Thousands were put out of work in our communities and thrown on the scrapheap

They were cruelly replaced by much cheaper models of inferior design and lack of experience.

With no benefit payment mechanisms or support systems in the so-called 'care-in-the-community' era of welfare reform many K6's were left to fend for themselves.

Hundreds of K6 boxes were to be seen standing forlornly on street corners begging for some spare cash for their slot meters from passers-by.

Scores of these poor boxes could be seen roaming the countryside in a vain search for gainful employment.

So please give generously and help our 'Red Box' Appeal to provide hope and succour to this once revered icon.

Call us now, preferably from a K6 Red Jubilee Telephone Box on:

0845 6512 632599

Anything you give no matter how small, no matter how miserly and insignificant will be appreciated. And if you meet a K6 begging on the street please have a heart, be not judgemental and thank your lucky stars that you are not living on the streets.

Give some cash, and remember that some of our older models accept shillings and half-pennies as their coin boxes were never decimalised.

In fact if you have ever been in that terrible predicament yourself you may have taken refuge in the comfort and protection of these gentlemen of the street, or simply relieved yourself in a moment of discomfort.

Thank you for your attention, we await your call.


Please give generously

(Gene Hunt at Flickr : Creative Commons)
(Gene Hunt at Flickr : Creative Commons)

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Comments 6 comments

Shinkicker profile image

Shinkicker 6 years ago from Scotland Author

Hello attemptedhumour

Thanks for reading. My best mate's too big to get in.

attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 6 years ago from Australia

I've got a feeling that if you discount the asylum, you could fit all your friends in a K6 you daft entertaining -ugger. Loved the tinkle line

Shinkicker profile image

Shinkicker 6 years ago from Scotland Author

Cheers Tony

I saw a couple of ours in Edinburgh at New Year. Nice to know some were preserved

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

Had a good laugh and thanks for the memories! Even in South Africa we had a red telephone booth. Ours was round, though, with a conical roof. But they have gone the way of the K6 too!

Thanks again

Love and peace


Shinkicker profile image

Shinkicker 6 years ago from Scotland Author

Cheers Camlo

Glad to hear some are now working over in Germany

It's 'Auf Wiedersehn Box!' :-)

camlo profile image

camlo 6 years ago from Cologne, Germany

Hi Shinkicker!

How terrible ... those poor phone boxes.

Actually, many of them have sought employment abroad -- there are actually a few here in Cologne and its surrounding areas, and a very distinctive one can be seen on the route to Ikea in Köln-Godorf. They are also often employed for purely decorative purposed.

Had fun reading this!

All the best, Camlo

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