Glasgow Police Boxes :: Shared Description

Most of the following information is based on an extract from the Historic Scotland web site LinkExternal link dedicated to the Cathedral Square police box.

This style of police box was designed by Gilbert Mackenzie Trench (1885-1979), principal Architect and Surveyor to the Metropolitan Police. His design, drawing references from the Classical tradition, is simple, functional and refined. Each box was intended to serve as a `miniature police station' for officers on the beat with telephone, incident book, fire extinguisher and first-aid kit inside. The instantly recognisable box also acted as a focal point where the public could make enquiries and obtain assistance in cases of urgency. The official objectives of the Police Box system included 'communicating information to or from the station' and 'preparing reports on occurrences'.

There are only four surviving on the streets of Glasgow and these are understood to be the last of the thousands that were installed on the streets of Britain between 1932 and 1938. There was another on display in the former Glasgow museum of Transport which closed in 2011. This box is presumably now in storage. Another can be found at Crich Tramway Village Link .

The police boxes contribute to our understanding of social history and also serve as a reminder of the advances made in police communications during the early to mid 20th century. Glasgow had the highest ratio of boxes to police officers in the UK. 323 police boxes were constructed in the city between 1932 and 1938.

The Glasgow boxes were painted red until the late 1960s, after which they were sometimes painted blue like their English counterparts. The Wilson Street was red until at least 2009, but is now blue.

At the time of writing in November 2013 the Buchanan street box was fenced off and looking abandoned and slightly dilapidated. Hopefully the box is being renovated and this is a temporary situation. This box has seen many commercial uses over the years.

This type of police box is internationally recognized through its pop-cultural association with the TARDIS from the BBC television programme Dr Who LinkExternal link . The BBC successfully registered the design of the box as a trademark in 2002, in the face of opposition from the Metropolitan Police.
by Thomas Nugent
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27 images use this description. Preview sample shown below:

NS5965 : Buchanan Street police box by Thomas Nugent
NS5965 : Police box by Thomas Nugent
NS5965 : Buchanan Street police box by Thomas Nugent
NS6065 : Cathedral Square police box by Thomas Nugent
NS5666 : Police box by Thomas Nugent
NS5965 : Police box on Sauchiehall Street by Thomas Nugent
NS5965 : Buchanan Street police box by Thomas Nugent
NS5965 : Buchanan Street police box by Thomas Nugent
NS5965 : Red police box on Sauchiehall Street by Thomas Nugent
NS6065 : Cathedral Square police box by Thomas Nugent
NS5965 : Wilson Street by Richard Sutcliffe
NS5667 : Coppuccino by Thomas Nugent
NS5965 : Wilson Street police box by Thomas Nugent
NS5964 : London Road police box by Thomas Nugent
NS5965 : Buchanan Street police box by Thomas Nugent
NS5965 : Police box, Wilson Street by Richard Sutcliffe
NS5964 : Police box on London Road by Thomas Nugent
NS5965 : Buchanan Street police box by Thomas Nugent
NS5965 : Red police box on Sauchiehall Street by Thomas Nugent
NS5865 : Police box on Sauchiehall Street by Thomas Nugent
SO9568 : Glasgow Police Box by John M
NS5965 : Wilson Street by Thomas Nugent
NS5965 : Buchanan Street by Thomas Nugent
NS5965 : Converted police box by Thomas Nugent
NS5965 : Wilson Street by Thomas Nugent

... and 2 more images.

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Created: Fri, 22 Nov 2013, Updated: Sat, 23 Nov 2013

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2013 Thomas Nugent, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.

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