NOTES FOR FILM AND TV MAKERS
This page advises of dates in the UK when different models of telephones were available and in use:-
Candlesticks (bell) - made
between 1900 and 1930 - Generally with
no dial so an operator would answer. Dials introduced late 1920's.
Used in offices and residences.
Wooden Wall phones (bell) -
Different models and dates - these were the wall version of the Candlestick.
Made between 1890 and 1940. Different variants, so check dates. No dial
on pre 1930's phones so an operator
would answer. Used in offices and residences.
Bakelite (Pyramid) (bell) - Made
between 1930 and 1950 - dial and no dial variants. Bell is in a
separate wall mounted bellset. Dial is dependant on local exchange type.
People with money may have a coloured telephone.
Bakelite (Combined) (bell) - Made
between 1937 and 1960 - dial and no dial variants. Dial is dependant on
local exchange type.
Trimphone (tone ringer) - Made between 1967 and 1981.
Plastic based press button phones (early ones had bells - later had tone callers) - 1979 onwards.
This is basic information and all dates should be checked.
The main rule is - in the UK only GPO telephones could be installed and used if connected to a GPO exchange!
There is nothing worse than seeing a whole TV series based in the UK with different foreign telephone sets in each episode.
Geographic telephone numbers that are
recommended for TV and radio
Ofcom continues to receive requests for geographic numbers to be used for TV and radio drama programmes.
Ofcom has therefore set out below a range of geographic telephone numbers that are recommended for TV and radio drama purposes (1000 numbers within each geographic area code).
1. Ofcom has not selected a telephone number range for all geographic area codes, as it has to ensure that there is sufficient numbering capacity available to meet future requirements for 'real' telephony purposes. Telephone numbers recommended for drama purposes cannot be allocated to communications providers for their customers because of the potential influx of calls that customers might receive should their telephone numbers be shown in a drama.
2. Ofcom suggests using numbers in the 01632 range (no area code) for any geographic area code not listed.
3. The use of any telephone number in the ranges below does not imply that the number has been allocated. The numbers will not be allocated to communications providers in the foreseeable future.
Other telephone numbers
Last revised: November 11, 2021