NOTES FOR FILM MAKERS


This page advises of dates in the UK when different models of telephones were available and in use:-

Candlesticks (bell) - made between 1900 and 1930 - Generally with no dial so an operator would answer.  Dials introduced late 1920's.
In use between 1900 and late 1940's.

Wooden Wall phones (bell) - Different models and dates - these were the wall version of the Candlestick.  Made between 1890 and 1940.  Different variants, so check dates.  No dial on pre 1930's phones so an operator would answer.
In use between 1890 and 1960. 

Bakelite (Pyramid) (bell) - Made between 1930 and 1950 - dial and no dial variants.  Bell is in a separate wall mounted bellset.  Dial is dependant on local exchange type.
In use between 1930 and 1960.

Bakelite (Combined) (bell) - Made between 1937 and 1960 - dial and no dial variants. Dial is dependant on local exchange type.
In use between 1937 and 1970.

Plastic cased dial phone (bell) - 706 made between 1960 and 1970 with the 746 made between 1968 and 1980.
Both in use between 1960 and late 1990's.  They are extremely similar to each other.

Trimphone (tone ringer) - Made between 1967 and 1981.
In use between 1967 and late 1990's.

Plastic based press button phones (early ones had bells - later had tone callers) - 1979 onwards.

This is basic information and all dates should be checked.

The main rule is - in the UK only GPO telephones could be installed and used if connected to an exchange!

There is nothing worse than seeing a whole TV series based in the UK with different foreign telephone sets in each episode.


Geographic telephone numbers that are recommended for TV and radio
An extract from the OFCOM web site
(2021)

Ofcom continues to receive requests for geographic numbers to be used for TV and radio drama programmes. 

Ofcom has therefore set out below a range of geographic telephone numbers that are recommended for TV and radio drama purposes (1000 numbers within each geographic area code).

1. Ofcom has not selected a telephone number range for all geographic area codes, as it has to ensure that there is sufficient numbering capacity available to meet future requirements for 'real' telephony purposes. Telephone numbers recommended for drama purposes cannot be allocated to communications providers for their customers because of the potential influx of calls that customers might receive should their telephone numbers be shown in a drama.

2. Ofcom suggests using numbers in the 01632 range (no area code) for any geographic area code not listed.

3. The use of any telephone number in the ranges below does not imply that the number has been allocated. The numbers will not be allocated to communications providers in the foreseeable future.

Geographic area

Geographic area code Telephone number range (1000 numbers in each range)
Leeds 0113 496 0000 to 496 0999
Sheffield 0114 496 0000 to 496 0999
Nottingham 0115 496 0000 to 496 0999
Leicester 0116 496 0000 to 496 0999
Bristol 0117 496 0000 to 496 0999
Reading 0118 496 0000 to 496 0999
Birmingham 0121 496 0000 to 496 0999
Edinburgh 0131 496 0000 to 496 0999
Glasgow 0141 496 0000 to 496 0999
Liverpool 0151 496 0000 to 496 0999
Manchester 0161 496 0000 to 496 0999
London 020 7946 0000 to 7946 0999
Tyneside/Durham/Sunderland 0191 498 0000 to 498 0999
Northern Ireland 028 9649 6000 to 9649 6999
Cardiff 029 2018 0000 to 2018 0999
No area 01632 960000 to 960999

Other telephone numbers

Telephone number type Telephone number range (1000 numbers in each range)
Mobile 07700 900000 to 900999
Freephone 08081 570000 to 570999
Premium rate services 0909 8790000 to 8790999
UK-wide 03069 990000 to 990999


 
 
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Last revised: April 24, 2021

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