Ex-directories

telephone seat

There must be a massive market for old telephone seats?

With the advent of modern phones there are several pieces of unwanted furniture no longer needed; the old-fashioned telephone seat, much loved in the 50s, 60s and 70s, is sadly one – along with locks on the phone, wires and telephone directories.

In London there were the four monster books; when they’d arrive you’d always check your own entry and then see if there were any rude names to ring. I was always disappointed to find there was no Mr Knob living within the London postal district.  They were great door-stops, but not very good if your telephone seat was bit wobbly at one end.

I was never encouraged to sit too long on the telephone seat as my mother told me this was how you got piles. Piles of what I always thought to myself not having been professionally trained in rectology?

But there was something even more dangerous than falling off an unbalanced seat or haemorrhoids: that was the address book – not a simple one you’d add people whom you’d met on holiday and would swap Christmas cards with for a respectable period of time until you realised that Hayling Island was a long way from London and did you really liked them? – the device with the letters down the side, which, when pressed, opened up at a speed like that of a hunting cheetah.  If you had bad eye-sight, like me, you’d need to be close to check the number you were about to ring – consequently there was always the danger of just prior to making a call, you’d re-enacted the most famous bit of the Battle of Hastings.

I often dreamed of being able to rip a London telephone directory in two. I clearly never followed the instruction manual which came with my Bullworker that accurately.

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