|This page is dedicated to the GPO 700 style telephone range.
Like all GPO/Post Office telephone these can be easily identified because
they will have the type number on the base and a date or manufacturer or
GPO 700 type telephones were made by about seven companies, who also sold
the 700 type or similar on the private market. So reproductions are
generally a privately sold 700 type telephone pretending to be a GPO 700
Case colour is also another give away. The GPO only supplied the
706 type in 7 colours and the 746 type in 8 colours. These colours are
shown on the 700 types pages. Some sellers produce strange colours but
generally use the correct base and internal electrics.
I will give a quick précis of what to look for on the more common types of
GPO 700 type.
Telephone No. 706
Identifiable by the two case fixing screws which are under the handset.
The telephone may have a coloured dial finger plate, very early models may have
stainless steel fingerplate, whilst the later versions will have a clear plastic
fingerplate. The number 706 will be clearly marked on base, along with the date of
manufacturer. Later phones may have a plastic carrying handle under the
dial - they never came with a metal handle.
Early versions also had a number ring around the dial and the dial had arrows
The telephone came with two types of base - one made of plastic and one
made of steel.
Inside the phone there is a small circuit board, standing upright, between the switch-hooks.
This plugs into the main circuit board.
These came in the standard seven colours.
Telephone No. 746
All variants had a clear plastic fingerplate, a dial with numbers and a coloured
silver/grey background and no numbers on the dial surround plate. The
number 746 will be clearly marked
on the base, along with the date of manufacturer.
The case is fixed by a single screw on the rear, just above the cords.
Ensure that this screw actually works and the case is removable!
This phone came in the seven standard colours, plus dark brown in later years.
Privately supplied 700 style and those sold abroad may have colours that differ
from the GPO colour range.
But don't be mislead, the GPO colours can be found on my site by checking on
the telephone style in question. The GPO never sprayed any cases with
paint, they were always replaced if damaged.
Cases are now being reproduced in a multitude of colours. This is
fine, but remember they are not original.
700 Style Press Button phones
GPO variants came generally in grey or ivory.
700 Style Wall Phones
GPO variants came in the colours black, grey and ivory.
Check the case and handset for cracks - cases are harder
to obtain than handsets.
Check the case for scratches - hard to get out -
discolouration is nearly impossible to remove.
Dial - is it slow - but does return slowly - this is
repairable - clean out spindle.
Dial - does not return at all - broken return spring -
Cords - reproductions can be found - if greasy
can be cleaned with biological washing powder.
Visually check internals. Generally they don't go
wrong. On 706, 710 and 711 variants check that they have the
additional circuit board, plugged into the main board, between the
Check the transmitter - if it has a tin top then it will
most probably need replacing. If it is all plastic then it will be
a modern electronic variant.
Dial a digit i.e. a 2. Then listen whilst blowing
in the mouthpiece. If you hear a frying bacon noise coming back at
you then the transmitter needs replacing. Replacements can be
Does the earpiece rattle? Will most probably still
work, but the rattle is very annoying. Replacements can be found.
On 746 variants - press the switch-hooks down slowly -
do you get a harsh noise from the earpiece? Keep your ear away
when trying this. If you do get a loud hiss, the the switch-hooks
are failing - replacement circuit board required.
Check the feet - are they all there?