5 Special Services and Facilities
Issue 2, Feb 1973


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 paint
Window 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
Window 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 No. 2


(There is no Kiosk No. 5 officially )

Kiosk No. 6
Cast iron structure (1936) (Sir G G Scott)
Inside 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
Sill 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.

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

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 the DTR.
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.

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 colour.

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.

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