K6 Kiosk


Kiosk No. 6 - the K6 - was introduced in the UK in 1936 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the coronation of King George V.  The 'Jubilee Kiosk', as it became known, was once again designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and was similar in appearance to Kiosk No. 2, the main difference being that the vertical bars in the windows and door were spaced further apart to improve visibility.  The K2 had not penetrated far outside London, but the 'Jubilee' model became the first genuinely standard kiosk and was installed all over the country.

Under the "Jubilee Concession", introduced as part of that year's celebrations, kiosks were to be provided in every town or village with a post office, regardless of cost.  As a result of this scheme over 8,000 new kiosks were installed, adding impetus to the spread of the K6.

In the following year, the "Tercentenary Concession" was introduced: if a local authority committed to paying 4 a year, then the normal subscription, for five years then the Post Office would install a kiosk on request almost anywhere.  This scheme remained in force until 1949, and led to almost another 1,000 K6s being introduced.  The "Rural Allocation Scheme" was introduced to replace it: kiosks were allocated to rural areas and installed where recommended by a rural local authority, whether likely to prove profitable or not.

The K6 was the most prolific kiosk in the UK and it's growth was:-
1925 - 1,000
1930 - 8,000
1935 - 19,000
1940 - 35,000
1950 - 44,000
1960 - 65,000
1970 - 70,000
1980 - 73,000

The 'Jubilee Kiosk' is perhaps the best remembered example of Gilbert Scott's work (with the possible exception of Liverpool Cathedral) and is to this day fondly regarded as a typical British landmark.  K6s survived the introduction of Nos. 7 and 8, but during the 1980s and early 1990s were frequently replaced with the modern KX 100 - 400 series of payphone booths.  Thousands of old K6 kiosks were sold off at public auctions. Some were scrapped, but many more were put to a variety of imaginative and bizarre uses in private hands.  However, the Department of the Environment and English Heritage worked with BT to identify kiosks, including more than 1,000 K6s, worthy of listing as being of special architectural and historical interest, mainly near existing listed buildings or in attractive town and country locations.

Taken from BT archives

Addendum to above
In the years 2017 and 2018 British Telecoms wrote to UK Councils enquiring if they wished to purchase most of the Telephone Kiosks in their respective areas.  The price was 1 and BT would pay the electric bill for a period of time.  Many Councils have now purchased Kiosks and are using them for a variety of purposes.

 

K6 Installation details

Kiosk No. 6 with STD equipment Kiosk No. 6 with prepayment equipment

Interior view showing a 1936 Jubilee layout
This is a CB installation and therefore has an Emergency press button (located in the lower, centre frame)
Bottom left is the light time switch whilst bottom right is the incoming mains fuse box

 

 
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Last revised: March 29, 2019

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