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Telephone dialling code?

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Evening all,

 

Not a usual prototype question but I'm looking to make some custom transfers for commercial vehicles for a layout based in Small Heath, Birmingham, in the mid 1980s and I want to include a phone number on the cab sides. I've looked on the interwebz but all I can find are modern dialling codes. Does anyone know what the code for Small Heath was in the 1980s?

 

Thanks,

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At that time the 0121 code was 021, looking at some longer establsihed entities in the area 464 looks common so may be 021 464 xxxx?

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This jazz concert flyer from 1988 suggests 021-772 and 021-773

 

PorscheClub-1.jpeg

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9 minutes ago, AY Mod said:

At that time the 0121 code was 021, looking at some longer establsihed entities in the area 464 looks common so may be 021 464 xxxx?

Cheers, Andy.

 

Do you know what kind of prefix went on fax numbers?

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The addition of the number 1 into most telephone area codes immediately after the leading zero occurred in the early 1990's - about 1993 from memory.  Whilst the London codes changed more significantly from 01 to 0171 and 0181, the changes elsewhere were just a straightforward code change - the local part of the number would have remained the same.

 

As Andy say's just choose a longer established business and take out the 1 that was added in the early 1990's.

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Fax numbers would simply be allocated a regular landline number. Nothing specific to identify them.

 

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Don't forget Telex was still widely used in the mid 1980s and could potentially appear on vehicle sides.

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4 minutes ago, 5 C said:

Don't forget Telex was still widely used in the mid 1980s and could potentially appear on vehicle sides.

Thanks. I think that's what I meant, rather than fax. It's strange how you forget these things that really weren't that long ago. What would a telex number look like?

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So, if I'm understanding this correctly, a business in the West Midlands area would have a five digit Telex number of the form 33xxx because they would be using the Birmingham (33) exchange.

 

I do recall seeing Telex numbers in the past, but never knew what they were.

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One other interesting tidbit is that the before the addition of the '1' the STD codes outside the big cities were somewhat in alphabetical order.

 

For example

Bolton 0204

Cambridge 0223

Carlisle 0228

Derby 0332

Doncaster 0302

Oxford 0865

Warrington 0925

Wigan 0942

 

Of course a lot of others have changed as more numbers have had to be added.

 

John P

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1 hour ago, Dungrange said:

So, if I'm understanding this correctly, a business in the West Midlands area would have a five digit Telex number of the form 33xxx because they would be using the Birmingham (33) exchange.

 

I do recall seeing Telex numbers in the past, but never knew what they were.

I think that may be the case. From what I can remember, the Telex network had separate exchanges from the pstn exchanges (but they tended to be within the same buildings), and used the same cable network to customer premises. Telex exchanges were only found in larger cities, and in those cities with multiple exchanges in the surrounding suburbs usually only the one telex exchange in a centrally-located exchange building. I used to wire up Telex circuits occasionally in exchanges in Bristol, but it was just copper wires coming from the Bristol Telex exchange, and all I had to do was connect it to the local network. The Telex numbers meant nothing to me as I didn't get involved with the Telex switching network (I mostly worked on the pstn network).

Edited by Coppercap
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Did any or many small businesses actually have Telex machines? I have never seen one in real life.

 

Fax machines were certainly getting popular in the later 80s / early 90s (posh firms hard hard copy fax that printed onto real paper, as opposed to reel paper!) but as has been said, they just had a normal phone number, with an extra 1 in there from 1994.

Interestingly (or not) faxes are still used (think Football Transfer Deadline Day Signings) because a signature on a fax counts as a "real signature".

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5 hours ago, Dungrange said:

 Whilst the London codes changed more significantly from 01 to 0171 and 0181,

 

Via 071 and 081. Then the current 020.

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4 hours ago, jpendle said:

One other interesting tidbit is that the before the addition of the '1' the STD codes outside the big cities were somewhat in alphabetical order.

 

For example

Bolton 0204

Cambridge 0223

Carlisle 0228

Derby 0332

Doncaster 0302

Oxford 0865

Warrington 0925

Wigan 0942

 

 

The original alphabetical local dialling codes were simply converted into numbers (although there are now exceptions). Look at where the letters are on a phone dial, using 0 in place of O. Bolton was BO, which became 20. Cambridge was CA which became 22, Wolverhampton was WO which became 90, etc. These became STD codes by adding more numbers. 

 

When STD was introduced London got 01 which was expected. Birmingham got 021 (the 2 is ABC), Edinburgh got 031 (the 3 is DEF), Glasgow got 041 (the 4 is GHI), Liverpool got 051 and Manchester got 061.

 

Other services were numbered the same way. The speaking clock was 846 (TIM), directory enquiries was 347 (DIR), reporting faults was 364 (ENG) and you could get the latest test match score by dialling 867 (UMP).

 

<MichaelCaine> There's not many people know that </MichaelCaine>

 

Cheers

David

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For the record, the insertion of the 1 as the second digit for geographic numbers and code changes in the bigger cities which were not already director areas (Bristol, Sheffield etc) was in 1995.

 

London went from 01 to 071/081 in 1990, to 0171/0181 in 1995, then to 0207/0208 in 2000. 

Edited by DY444
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6 hours ago, LBRJ said:

Did any or many small businesses actually have Telex machines? I have never seen one in real life.

 

Fax machines were certainly getting popular in the later 80s / early 90s (posh firms hard hard copy fax that printed onto real paper, as opposed to reel paper!) but as has been said, they just had a normal phone number, with an extra 1 in there from 1994.

Interestingly (or not) faxes are still used (think Football Transfer Deadline Day Signings) because a signature on a fax counts as a "real signature".

 

I think it would depend on the type of business. Large businesses yes, but even a small manufacturing or engineering business would have one if they needed the kind of "instantaneous" written communication telex offered. Telex machines were usually the preserve of the company telephonist or switchboard operator. When I first started work in 1987, only specially trained members of staff could operate "the fax machine" and there were restrictions on which machines could talk to other machines (Group 1 and Group 2 anyone?).

 

As fax technology standardised and became cheaper and more widespread, smaller businesses and sole traders started to use them. You could simply plug one into a standard BT socket, rather than needing a specialist installation and it didn't necessarily need a dedicated phone line. As someone who was field based in the 1990s, I had one in my home office. I would often be woken in the middle of the night by the machine beeping after being sent a load of junk faxes. Spamming is nothing new.

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11 hours ago, Dungrange said:

The addition of the number 1 into most telephone area codes immediately after the leading zero occurred in the early 1990's - about 1993 from memory. 

 

16 April 1995.

 

Reading area telephone numbers changed again from 01734 to 0118 area code, and existing numbers prefixed with a 9 i.e. (0118) 9XX XXXX - NB NOT (01189) XXX XXX as is often commonly misrepresented.

 

Until fairly recently the older 0734 and 01734 codes could still be seen on shop signs around Reading.

Edited by RJS1977
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32 minutes ago, DY444 said:

then to 0207/0208 in 2000. 

 

(020) 7 not (0207) ;)

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It was publicised as phONE day, and yes, it was 1995. I lived in Leicester at the time, which saw its numbers changed from 0533 xxxxxx to 0116 9 xxxxxx. Bristol, similarly, changed from 0272 xxxxxx to 0117 9 xxxxxx. Around 6-7 other cities changed as well, including Sheffield, Nottingham & Reading. London codes, having changed in 1990 from 01 xxx xxxx to 071 xxx xxxx, also had the 1 inserted. I still remember one of the adverts - bottle of Perrier I think, and 71. Eau 71.....geddit? Shows the power of advertising.

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Birmingham went full STD in 1966. The local codes were split up as follows:-

Central area: 021 2xx xxxx and 6xx xxxx

North: 021 3xx xxxx

East: 021 7xx xxxx

South: 021 4xx xxxx

West: 021 5xx xxxx.

 

At the time I lived in Harborne which was a straight swap from HAR to 427. Later I was on Stechford exchange 783, Acocks Green 707 and Springfield 777.

 

In the city centre CENtral became  236 and MIDland was 643 both a straight swap.

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3 hours ago, RJS1977 said:

 

16 April 1995.

 

Reading area telephone numbers changed again from 01734 to 0118 area code, and existing numbers prefixed with a 9 i.e. (0118) 9XX XXXX - NB NOT (01189) XXX XXX as is often commonly misrepresented.

 

Until fairly recently the older 0734 and 01734 codes could still be seen on shop signs around Reading.

And 0734 was of course 0 RE 4 before being converted to a numeric code. Thus the alpha 'translation' was carried down to many exchanges at far smaller places than the large cities.  Even our local dialling code, for a town with a population of c.10,000, was a direct logical 'translation' from alpha to numeric for the middle two digits of the original 4 digit STD dialling code.

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Small Heath was covered by Victoria exchange which was 772, (771 & 773 were added later)

Where I worked from 1962-94 the number was 021 772 2361 (+ ext which was via an operator), later we had a PABX and a block of numbers in the 771 group for direct dialling.

Edited by melmerby
correction
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