Police Boxes or Kiosks were supplied by the local constabulary and fitted out with GPO Equipment (which was rented).  They came in various styles and constructed generally of wood to cast iron.

The picture, above left, shows a pre-cast concrete Police box in Cardiff Road, Newport, Gwent, (next to an electric sub station) whilst the picture, above right, shows the interior stripped of GPO and Police fittings.  Inside you can see, to the left, a mains socket (to power the relay that activates the lantern on the roof) and the lantern test button.  A writing shelf would have also been provided.  Above the mains socket is a strange red cast iron structure.  This is the original Ericsson Police system equipment mounting, with the all components removed.

The original Police system, PA150, used Posts with provision for a loudspeaker mounted in a triangular frame with all the electrical components and telephone equipment attached. The same loudspeaker unit was used in police kiosks, fitted behind a specially made door mounting (see above).  The left hand picture shows such a door.  The right hand picture, above,  shows the inside of the same Police kiosk with the door mounting exposed (centre left of the picture).

On the introduction of Police system PA350/PA450, the loudspeaker equipment was replaced by a simple 200 type telephone and a mains relay unit.  On the Newport boxes the door assembly was subsequently modified, with the speaker grill and associated equipment being removed and a mounting plate provided for the telephone (complete with cover to stop people seeing into the box, to stop theft or the possibility of finding a sleeping policeman inside!).  The mains relay was mounted on the wall and this operated the lamp on top of the Kiosk.  The lamps were coloured orange, except for the Metropolitan Police district in London, when they were clear (there were never any blue lamps!).  There was always a test button in the Kiosks to light the lamp - the Police must have had long necks, if they were expected to press the test switch and check to see the lamp on during the daytime.

Kiosks were also fitted with a PA No.1 lamp fitting (as shown in the right hand picture).  The bell cover is in fact a bell gong and a bell mechanism could fitted if needed.  If a bell is installed, then there is always a switch inside the Kiosk to switch it off.  The lamp was the main form of signalling as the theory is that a beat officer would see it from a distance and Kiosks/Posts were usually instead in locations where they could be easily seen.

The Newport police boxes also had window frames on two sides and a door very similar to that of a Telephone Kiosk No 3 (in fact the side windows also looked similar to the window frames in the door).

All the Newport Kiosks had Yale locks which could be opened by the local Constabularies station key.

Three of the four remaining police boxes in Newport were removed in the mid 90's, due to deterioration of the concrete. The remaining box, now owned by the Newport Council, is situated on the Chepstow Road (leave the M4 at Junction 24 and follow the A48 to Newport) and was painted dark blue with a `Doctor Who' scarf around it!  The picture of the Chepstow Road Kiosk, with scarf,  was taken around the mid 1990's.

Around August 2010 work started on the restoration of the Newport Kiosk.

For more information please follow this link http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=682.45

The following 2 pictures were taken from the above site:-

The picture above shows the bad condition of the concrete structure.

The kiosk after restoration

The Kiosk below was located in Newport, Gwent, at the Junction of Allt-yr-yn Road and Allt-yr-yn Avenue.  This is how they looked when in use.


On 6th January 1936 the first Police telephone Boxes, fifty in number, were installed throughout `J' division, a Police district covering a wide area that included Walthampstow, Leyton, Chingford, Wanstead, Woodford, Hackney, Ilford, Chadwell Heath, Loughton and Waltham Abbey.  The boxes were dark blue in colour and so arranged that no-one should have to travel more than half a mile before reaching a telephone or Police box.


(Picture taken in St. Albans in 1935)

Interior of police kiosk in St Albans (1935)

Switchboard in St Albans Police H.Q. with Operator (November 1933)


A Police Station for every Policeman on beat duty with a Flying Squad ready at the Central Station to go to any point to deal with any emergency, is the scheme which will operate in Reading (Berks) in a few weeks.

A miniature Police Station - hut containing a desk, stool and telephone - is being provided on each beat.  Although only a Policeman on duty has the key, the public by opening a shutter can use the telephone.  An electric radiator is being installed for the constables comfort.  The telephone communicates with the central Station, the yard units, the motor cycles and vans of Reading Flying Squad.

The picture shows a lady using the telephone at a new Police box.

Taken from a Photopress article - 12/3/1929

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Last revised: September 10, 2019