COLLECTORS INFORMATION
FOR UK BELLSETS WITH EARLY PLASTIC COVERS


The years 2020 and 2021 saw a number of early style coloured Bellset covers on the open market. Some were bona fide and some reproductions.  They fit Bellset Nos. 25, 26, 31, 37 etc.

These covers were originally made from the 1930's until mid 1960's.  Generally black in colour but red, green, ivory and mottled brown were also supplied by the GPO.  Whilst looking like Bakelite they were produced using other plastics.

If sold as a complete Bellset then like all GPO/Post Office telephone these can be easily identified because they will have the type number on the base and a date or manufacturer or refurbishment.  Most Bellsets with reproduction covers do use original metalwork and electrics.

It's the covers that are sometimes reproduction.  Fine if the seller advises that the cover is reproduction, because some of them are actually quite good.  But your paying good money and you should verify what you are buying.

I will give a quick précis of what questions to ask if buying a coloured Bellset cover.

Summary

  • There are next to no brand new original GPO early style coloured Bellset covers on the market!  If there is, then normally it will be a complete Bellset for sale.

  • Check the case for any defects in the mould - saggy bits here and there.  Look in the centre close to the indent or rib.  GPO ones are perfect.

  • Some of the reproduction cases are not the right size, so measure your old one and ask the seller what his measurements are.

  • Be wary of those with the markings PX/PX LA 5.

  • Check out the colours, especially the red ones.  Look for any discolouration especially a slight orange discolouration in the centre of the top of the cover (the “winged” raised area).

  • Has the cover actually got internal ribs or manufacturer codes - it should do.

  • It is doubtful if the GPO ever used transparent covers.

  • Second hand and used covers normally come complete with the two fixing screws.

 

 
 
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Last revised: March 03, 2021

FM