D INLAND SERVICES OPERATION
5 Special Services and Facilities
Issue 2, Feb 1973
TYPES OF KIOSKS, DESIGN AND DECORATION
TYPES OF KIOSKS
The standard kiosk is type No. 8 which was introduced in 1968 to a design of Mr Bruce
Martin. There are five other types in existence but no further supplies of these will be
obtained. Particulars of each type are shown below and they are illustrated below.
Kiosk No. 1
Concrete structure with pyramidal roof (1921) (Engineering Department)
Inside and outside treated roof with two coats of cream Snowcem or one coat of stipple
frames and whole of door painted in Red 539.
Kiosk No. 2
Cast iron structure (1926) (Sir G G Scott)
Inside and outside in Red 539
Underside of roof painted in white enamel
Kiosk No. 3
Concrete structure with domed roof (1929) (Sir G G Scott)
Inside and outside treated with two coats of cream Snowcem or one coat of stipple paint
frame and its exterior surround painted in Red 539
Kiosk No. 4
Cast iron structure incorporating a posting box and
stamp selling machine (Engineering Department) (1928)
Inside and outside as for Kiosk
(There is no Kiosk No. 5 officially
Kiosk No. 6
Cast iron structure (1936) (Sir G G Scott)
and outside as for Kiosk No. 2
Kiosk No. 8
Cast iron structure with aluminium door (1968) (Mr Bruce Martin)
Inside and outside in Red 539
Inside of roof painted in white enamel
and roof ring in black
Kiosk No. 7 was a prototype
The question of the colour of telephone kiosks was reviewed in 1948 in conjunction with
the Royal Fine Art Commission, Ministry of Town and Country Planning and the Councils for
the Preservation of Rural England and Wales. After a detailed investigation of the problem
and an examination of suitably sited kiosks painted in certain suggested alternative
colours (Standard Post Office Red, Deep Brunswick Green, Black, Light Battleship Grey and
Dark Battleship Grey) it was unanimously agreed that:-
Red should continue to be the standard colour for kiosks. The primary reason for
choosing red is that a kiosk must be readily distinguishable from its surroundings so as
to be recognised from a distance by a stranger in the stress of an emergency and
uniformity of colour is essential if this object is to be achieved.
In certain places of very exceptional beauty, where objection is raised to red, one
alternative colour only should be permitted, viz, dark battleship grey with the glazing
bars "picked out" in red. This scheme is not suitable for Kiosks No. 8. The
alternative colour scheme acceptable for Kiosks No. 8 is battleship grey (BS632) with a
red top casting (except for the lettering panels); if desired, the grey of the base and
the red of the top casting may be separated by a relieving band of black or white.
Similar arrangements have been agreed with regard to Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The procedure for dealing with objections to the use of the standard colour, Red 539,
is given in Appendix 1. Where a kiosk of either type No. 1 or No. 3 is situated (a)
alongside another type painted red or (b) in a dirty or industrial area, the whole of the
kiosk should be painted red. In certain districts the exterior of the window frames and
the door of Kiosks Nos. 1 and 3 have, by agreement with the Local Authority, been painted
in other than the standard colour. This practice may continue unless it is apparent that
the Local Authority desire to revert to Post Office red. If these kiosks are replaced the
Local Authority concerned should be persuaded to accept the standard colour; if they
object, the matter should be dealt with in accordance with Appendix 1.
REPLACEMENT OF KIOSKS
When the question of the replacement of a kiosk arises for any reason consideration should
be given to the need for its retention or whether it should be moved to another site (see
H0011). The new kiosk should be of the No. 8 type whenever it is necessary for
architectural reasons or because vandalism is high. In other situations Kiosks No. 6
should be re-used if they are available.
Should it be necessary to install a new kiosk en suite or in close proximity to other
kiosks of obsolete types it will normally be desirable on aesthetic grounds to provide for
all the kiosks to be of the No. 8 type. Head/District Postmasters should be advised.
Procedure for dealing with applications for painting in a non-standard colour
APPLICATION BY PLANNING AUTHORITY
If the Planning Authority objects to the use of Red 539 it should be told of the reasons
why this colour was adopted and the support given to the Post Office to use it:-
1. If the Planning Authority persists after this explanation, the TM should report to
2. If the DTR is disposed to agree with the Local Planning Authority that the alternative
colouring of grey and red should be adopted he may authorise it.
3. If the DTR considers the standard red colour is appropriate, or if he is doubtful, he
should refer the matter to the Regional Controller of the Department of Environment.
The Regional Controller will endeavour to settle the case and may consult local amenity
societies but if he is unsuccessful he will refer the case to his headquarters after
telling the DTR. At this stage the DTR should refer his papers to THQ/SvD/Svl.2.
The Department of Environment will ask the Council for the Preservation of Rural
England (or Wales) for its recommendations. The Council will make recommendations to the
Department after consultation, if thought desirable, with the Royal Fine Art Commission.
The Department, on receiving the recommendation of the Council and (where applicable) the
Royal Fine Art Commission, will report the result to THQ/SvD/Svl.2.
Any further correspondence will be conducted between THQ and the Department and the DTR
will be advised of the result so that the TM can inform the Local Planning Authority.
APPLICATION BY AN AMENITY SOCIETY
If the Planning Authority has agreed to the standard colour but objections are raised by a
local amenity society, before or after the kiosk is erected, the Telephone Manager should
inform the objector that the standard colour has been agreed for general use by the
Department of Environment, the Royal Fine Art Commission and the Council for the
Preservation of Rural England (or Wales), and that its application to this particular
kiosk has been agreed by the Local Planning Authority. The objections of local amenity
societies will tend to find their way to the Headquarters of the CPRE (or W) where the
Executive Committee will examine every application on its merits and will recommend the
use of the alternative colour only in very exceptional cases. In such cases the Council
will report its views to the Headquarters of the Department of Environment who will advise
THQ whether they consider that the circumstances justify the use of the alternative
The Scottish Home and Health Department and the Ministry of
Health and Social Services are the appropriate authorities for consultation in Scotland
and Northern Ireland respectively in place of the Department of Environment.