The last phone boxes: broken glass, cider cans and — amazingly — a dial tone | Curio
News and insights read out for you.
10,000+ audio articles. 50+ world-leading publications.

All in 1 subscription.

The Guardian logo

The last phone boxes: broken glass, cider cans and — amazingly — a dial tone

27 mins | May 15, 2022
story image
Five million payphone calls are made each year, but who makes them and why? Walk around any city, town, or village in the UK, and you'll see the last phone boxes - relics of nostalgia that are often now completely ignored. Many of these phone boxes are shells of their former selves: not working, but not yet gone. However, according to Ofcom, approximately 5 million calls are still placed each year. Sophie Elmhirst undergoes a phone box pilgrimage as she attempts to understand why so many have fallen out of favour.
Get unlimited access free for 7 days, then $6.67/month (billed annually)
Get started