Blue Police Boxes and the TARDIS

The blue phone box, or TARDIS, is an iconic part of Doctor Who, appearing in almost every episode. But how much do we know about the inspiration for this iconic TV prop – the actual real life blue police box?

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The blue police box was a telephone kiosk for the constables to stay in contact with their police station. It contained a telephone that was directly linked to the police station. A gas lantern on top of the box could be lit, via a mechanism from the local station, to alert the officer to contact them if needed. Internally, they contained a table, stool, incident book, first aid kit, brushes, duster and a small heater. The telephone was located behind a hinged door, so it could be accessed from the outside by members of the public Rajasthan Police Constable Result 2021.

The original police boxes of 1891 were red, hexagonal and made from wood, as cast iron was discounted due to cost. The Chief Constable Mr Frederick Crawley introduced them to Sunderland in 1923; and Newcastle in 1925. They were then installed experimentally in Richmond and Barnes in 1928.

In 1929 Gilbert Mackenzie Trench designed the Royal Blue model that was to become the inspiration for the TARDIS. The light on top was now electric and flashed if the constable was needed. They were made of concrete with a teak wood, right-hand opening door, fitted with a double locking Yale latch. The white framed windows were ‘hopper’ style, with a hinge at the bottom, enabling them to be opened slightly and were of frosted glass with the bottom, middle panel of each window either tinted blue or clear coloured. The Metropolitan Police distributed them throughout London between 1928 and 1937.

There were slight variations to the Gilbert Mackenzie Trench design, to help keep costs down. These included the location of the St John’s Ambulance badge and the plaque stating designated usage. Also the MK1 sign bar across the top of the door just said ‘Police’ whereas the MK2 sign bar read ‘police (public call) box’.

By 1953 there were 685 on the streets of London. With the introduction of radios the police telephone box had served its purpose. Decommissioning started in 1959, although they continued being used until 1960-1970. Most of them had to be dismantled in situ, via a small explosion, as they weighed a hefty 2½ tonnes.

The Civil Defence and Emergency Service Preservation Trust installed restrictions to prevent them being altered externally and also manage most of the “Gilbert Mackenzie Trench” boxes, on behalf of private collectors. There is one preserved in the National Tramway Museum in Crick, Derbyshire and at the Kent Police Museum in Chatham, Kent with an original Mackenzie Trench Box at the Metropolitan Police College in Hendon – although this has no public access Rajasthan Patwari Admit Card 2021.

Doctor Who originally ran from 1963, when blue police telephone boxes were commonplace in London. It’s suggested that BBC staff writer Anthony Coburn chose the disguise for the TARDIS after seeing a police telephone box near his office. The TV prop was made from wood – then fibreglass – to keep cost and time to a minimum.

None of the BBC replicas were actually true replicas of the original police telephone box. Over the series they’ve changed box and window colour, dimension, signage above the door, as well as positioning of the St John badge and door opening.

In 1996 BBC applied for trademark, with the Police filing an objection in 1998, stating they owned rights. The Police subsequently lost, as it appeared they’d never actually registered the image as a trademark.

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