Cream-coloured phone boxes in Hull granted listed status

Nine rare cream-coloured phone boxes - which have survived a redesign and the invention of the mobile phone - have been granted listed status.

The old-style K8 kiosks, all in and around Hull, have been listed as Grade II by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

It follows advice from Historic England, which described the kiosks as "the last generation of the classic public telephone box".

The K8 boxes, which are less elaborate than the more famous earlier editions, the K2 and K6 kiosks, were designed in 1965-66 by architect Bruce Martin.

Around 11,000 were installed across the UK between 1968 and 1983.

But there are only around 50 remaining in their original position as most were removed by British Telecom following its privatisation in 1984.

They were replaced by the grey metal and glass KX100 kiosk, which in turn were made virtually obsolete by the invention of the mobile phone.

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However, the K8 phone boxes in Hull survived because they were not the property of British Telecom, instead falling under the control of the council.

The city was the only place in England where the local council actively ran the public telephone network, having been granted a licence to operate from 1902 to 2007.

They have continued to be run by an independent company, Kingston Communications, since then.

As a mark of independence, the boxes were painted cream, rather than the usual red seen throughout the UK, further adding to their rarity.

Sarah Charlesworth, listing team Leader for the North at Historic England, said: "Our old phone boxes are a beloved part of England's heritage and for many of us they've been the scene of memorable moments in our own lives.

"These listed K8s represent the cream of the crop in the Hull area, those which are in the best condition, and which help to enrich their individual historic streetscape location."

Catherine Croft, director of the Twentieth Century Society, said: "The K8 is really the last in the line of the classic telephone boxes and their plight has long been a cause for C20 Society, so we're delighted to see another brace of boxes recognised with national listing."