K3 Kiosk

Due to the high cost of purchase and maintenance of the Kiosk No. 2, the Post Office was asked to look into a cheaper alternative, which was visually acceptable (most considered the Kiosk No. 1 to be an ugly structure) to the Municipal Councils.

In 1929 the Kiosk No. 3 was introduced, again designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (his fee was 52.10.0).  This kiosk was intended for sites of special architectural importance, scenic localities and for general outdoor use in rural and urban areas.  Only a few were installed in London.

The initial tender was for 1800.  600 were from The Croft Granite Co, 600 from Norwest Construction Co and 600 from D. G. Sommerville.  The cost of each Kiosk, based on a purchase of 250, was approximately 22.13.4.

In August 1930 it was decided to adopt the No. 3 as standard for rural areas once the stock of No. 1' s had been exhausted.  The unit cost at this point had dropped to 13.00.  In six years the Post Office installed in the region of 12,000 K3 kiosks nationwide.

The actual design was very similar to the No. 2 kiosk but was made largely from concrete instead of cast iron.  Only the window frames were painted red, with the rest of the kiosk being painted a stony grey colour.

This was the first Kiosk to use Aluminous Cement.

Coloured inside and outside treated with two coats of cream Snowcem (the colour was described as light Portland Stone) or one coat of stipple paint to window frame and its exterior surround painted in Red 539.

Because concrete was a rather poor material for telephone box construction this was the last standard telephone box to employ its use.

The above is taken partly from BT archives

K3 Installation

Rodney Marshall comments

The earlier references to Stone, indicating a sort of grey colour, are misleading.  The 1971 Non Technical Maintenance Manual R1 states Snowcem Cream and is the colour everyone goes for as it obviously looks nice.

The answer is in a drawing 'Diagram E.C. 1347' of the earliest version the Mk234 where it states Clipsham Stone as the colour.  Clipsham Stone is a light cream limestone building stone quarried in Rutland and Lincolnshire to this day.

It is interesting to note that Sir Gilbert Scott chose a non-standard colour and even the Post Office had problems in describing the colour.  In 1928 the official line was that "the colour lies between Portland Stone and Clipsham quarry stone".

Kiosk No. 3 Mark 1 Exterior Kiosk No. 3 Mark 2 Exterior


Additional Pictures


Kiosk No. 3 containing a Telephone No. 11 and Coin Collecting Box No. 7.





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