|"NOBLE" TELEPHONE KIOSK
The kiosk was designed by Mr. C. Wycliffe Noble, an architect employed by
the Festival of Britain in 1951. A total, of 17 were installed at the
South Bank site of the Festival of Britain in London, UK.
The kiosk was unsatisfactory in the following respects:-
- The doors were not self-closing and as members of the public seldom
closed the door after they had vacated a kiosk the telephone equipment
was exposed to the elements.
- Because the doors were not self closing and were of bad design and
construction several got blown off by the wind.
- The doors were found to foul any directories that were left open at
the right hand end of the shelf.
- As the instructions to callers were engraved on a glass panel it
would have been very expensive to modify them to cater for changes in
- The shelf above the coin box obscured button A end made insertion of
coins in the coin box difficult. (The shelf eventually had to be out
- The coin box mechanism could not be withdrawn in the event of its
- Difficulty was experienced in clearing the cash compartment of the
coin box because the grill arrangement fouled the bag used for
collecting the coins.
- The coin box mechanism could not readily be withdrawn from the coin
box housing for maintenance purposes.
- The telephone instrument was fixed to the shelf by four bolts which
prevented ready access for maintenance purposes.
- The racking and directory supporting frames were too fragile and
soon became bent and broken.
Continual representations were made to the Festival of Britain Committee
to improve the condition of the kiosks with the result that some of the more
unsatisfactory features were improved. Eventually Jubilee pattern
backboards were fitted but the final result was not up to Post Office
By 26th June, 1951 defects due to the poor design had been pin pointed.
Taken from a 1955 report to the London telephone Region, Regional
On the first day of opening a caller was trapped in one of these kiosks
and could only be released after dismantling the kiosk.
These kiosks were never approved by the GPO and it appears they were not
even consulted on the design.