The 6 best Glasgow Police Boxes
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A police box was a kiosk located in a public place where the public could use the phone to contact a police in an emergency, and a miniature police station for the police officers. In addition to a telephone, they contained equipment such as a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit, and a light on top of the box that would flash to alert an officer that he was requested to contact the station.
The known rectangular type – MK2, designed by Gilbert Mackenzie Trench – was introduced in Glasgow during the 1930s. These boxes were usually blue, with the exception of Glasgow, where they were red because they were maintained by the Post Office. Sadly, most of them were repainted blue in the late 1960s due to the popularity of the Tardis (the space-time machine vehicle with the shape of a police box in the famous Doctor Who British science-fiction television programme).
They played an important role in the police work until the late 1960s with the arrival of the portable transistor, which made the police boxes become obsolete. In 1994 it was decided that the remaining Glasgow police boxes should be removed. However, some of theme were retained and are today a part of Glasgow’s architectural heritage.
The existing ones are not functioning as police boxes. Some lucky ones are now being used as urban decorative elements or small coffee shops.
Visit the Cathedral Square Police Box
Located near the majestic Glasgow Cathedral and The Provand’s Lordship, this box is a distinctive landmark and an integral part of the streetscape.
The box was listed as a B grade building in 2008 and is the oldest police box in Glasgow. In 1933 it was built and situated in Cathedral Square and later relocated in the current place at the other side of the footpath.
Although the box was initially red, it was painted blue years ago and it is a coffee kiosk named ´Empire Coffee Box‘.
Oldest police box in Glasgow.
Admire the Wilson Street Police Box
Built in the 1930s decade, this B-listed police box was put into service on 24th January 1938 and it was attached to the A.D – Turnbull Street, Police Divisional Headquarters.
This Police Box – located on Wilson Street near its junction with Glassford Street, in the heart of Merchant City – retained its original red colour until 2009, when it was refurbished and repainted to the familiar blue of the Doctor’s Tardis.
In 2010 the box was moved from a traffic island to the pavement’s side of the same street. Now, it is a coffee shop named ´The Wee Tasty´.
Red colour until 2009.
Discover the Botanic Gardens Police Box
Situated at the Northwest corner of the junction of Great Western Road and Queen Margaret Drive, at the entrance to the Botanic Gardens, the police box was put into service in November 1933, just one month after the one in Cathedral Square.
It was attached to the F.D Maryhill, Police Divisional Headquarters. It has never been moved from the current location.
This police box is open as a coffee kiosk, Westend Roasters, and has been placed on the B listed building list since 1995.
Never been moved.
Go to the Sauchiehall Street Police Box
This original red police box was displayed inside the old Glasgow’s Transport Museum in the Kelvin Hall. When that place was closed in 2010 and the collections were transferred to the new Transport Museum (the Riverside Museum) the police box didn’t make the move.
In 2014, the box was placed in the middle of Sauchiehall Street, just near the junction with Renfield Street, looking splendid in its original red colour.
It has been a newspaper kiosk and it is currently a shop named ‘CBD Tardis.‘.
Original red colour.
See the Buchanan Street Police Box
Built in April 1934, this B-listed police box was installed at the Cathedral Street island in the centre of the roadway, 17 yards east of Buchanan Street. In 2002 it was moved to the corner of Buchanan Street and Royal Bank Place.
This Tardis has been repainted a few times over the years with a variety of daft colours and designs (including polka-dots and vibrant shades of green, gold or black), but is currently unused and blue again.
Repainted several times.
Plan to visit the London Road Police Box
This ‘new’ Glasgow box was installed in 2014 bringing the total of on-street police boxes to six.
It is located in London Road, just near the Barrowland park and has a metal plaque with the following text:
“Police Telephone. Iconic Gilbert / Mackenzie / Trench / Police Box / Mark II Design. Supplied by Civil Defense and Emergency Service. Preservation Trust for Calton Barras action plan.
In memory of Joseph Gerald Duman – Ad adstra”.
New police box.
-Glasgow was the first place to install police boxes in the United Kingdom, beginning in 1891.
-In the decade of the 1930s, there were 323 police boxes throughout Glasgow streets, one for every six police officers.
-It was one police box for every six police officers.
No, look, there’s a blue box. It’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. It can go anywhere in time and space and sometimes even where it’s meant to go. And when it turns up, there’s a bloke in it called The Doctor and there will be stuff wrong and he will do his best to sort it out and he will probably succeed cos he’s awesome. Now sit down, shut up, and watch ‘Blink’.
Neil Richard Gaiman. English author of short fiction and comic books (1960-).
Research led by SUZANNAH HENDERSON ׀
Date of the Research: 20-10 NOVEMBER 2017 ׀
Publication date: 23 NOVEMBER 2017
Review date: 15 NOVEMBER 2018
Scope of the research & essential inclusion criteria:
|Currently, the police box exists.||The police box is still placed in a public place in Greater Glasgow.|
1 Current use.
3 Surrounding area.
4 The police box is innovative or unusual
5 Difficulty of being seen at day.
6 Difficulty of being seen at night.
7 Category B listed building.
8 Other features.
Premium Validation criteria:
9 Concrete construction & teak door conditions.
10 Located in its original place.
11 Interior conditions.
12 Police box signs preservation and condition.
13 Windows preservation and conditions.
14 Top light preservation and conditions.
15 Roof condition.
16 Concrete foundation condition.