Police Boxes

Dr Who - History of the Police Box
Transmitted in 1993 as part of the 30th anniversary of Dr Who. This was part of a celebration of Dr Who with the BBC showing classic episodes including the Time Meddler and Planet of the Daleks
Glasgow Police Boxes
Nigel Fletcher
Doctor Who: What's a Police Box?
The Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) explains why the TARDIS looks like a Police Box, and more importantly, what a Police Box actually is (or was). From DOCTOR WHO episode "Boom Town" (2005) Christopher Eccleston, Billie Piper, John Barrowman, and Bafta-winning director Noel Clark. ALL RIGHTS BBC, BBC WORLDWIDE, BBC WALES, BBCAMERICA, and the United Kingdom in general.
Avoncroft Museum Police Box

What would you find in a police box?

The secrets of the police box revealed.

Viewers of BBC’s Doctor Who series will immediately recognise the Doctor’s transport known as the Tardis which is disguised as a police box. Few will know what would be found in a real police box.

Before the introduction of the boxes, officers patrolling their beats had no direct contact with the police station and would meet their supervising sergeant at prescribed points on the officer’s beat to receive any information or instructions. In cases of emergency where an officer needed help, they would have to try to find a telephone to contact the station or use his whistle to summon help.

The police box was first introduced by the Metropolitan Police in London in 1928 following a successful test in Sunderland, and by 1937 they had been installed throughout London.

The box was equipped with a telephone which they could use to contact the station, and members of the public could use the telephone to summons the emergency services. If the station wanted to contact the officer, the blue light on the top of the box would flash, thus alerting a passing officer.

Inside the box was normally found a stool, table, brushes and dusters, fire extinguisher and electric fire. The box would be used by the officer to write up his reports while he took his meal break. It was not designed for comfort and woe betide the officer if the Sergeant found him fast asleep in the box.

The advent of personal radios, nick-named ‘bat phones’, meant the phasing out of the police boxes.


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