18 April 2011

Double Cream

Familiar yet different are the cream (and crown-less) K6 telephone boxes of Kingston Communications, the only 'municipal' telephone company left in the UK. Granted a licence in 1902, the operation of Hull Corporation (later Hull City Council) was the only municipal service not ultimately absorbed into the Post Office's telephones division.

The Hull area is, thus, the sole part of the UK not served by British Telecom. KC beat BT to the punch with its Golden Pages, launched in 1954, ahead of Yellow Pages; and again in 1989 by becoming the first all-digital network in the UK. Right up to 1999 the company was wholly-owned by the council, which retains a 44.9% stake.

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