K8 telephone kiosks, Erskine Bridge, Renfrewshire

K8 telephone kiosks, nr Kilmartin Village – Bruce Martin, 1968

Pickles the dog at rare K8 kiosk
north side, traffic heading North
Pickles at rare K8
north side, traffic heading South

As promised a few months ago, I have found these wonderful examples of the very rare K8 telephone kiosk on the north side of the approach road to the Erskine Bridge in Renfrewshire; I’m fairly sure there are another two on the south side of the bridge as well. Designed by Bruce Martin in 1968, they were a rationalisation of the earlier K6 kiosk designed by Dog and Deco fave, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott.

Martin’s K8 was the last red cast iron telephone box ever to be constructed in the UK, and represents the final stage in the lineage of a design that has become a global icon and symbol of Britain. Pitifully few of the 11,000 boxes manufactured remain and it is an incredibly rare feature in the British landscape – the boxes were too young to be protected by English Heritage when BT began decommissioning boxes in 1984.

However, twelve known survivors have been submitted to English Heritage by the Twentieth Century Society, who are also running a campaign to find out about any other boxes they may not be aware of yet. You could also tell us here if you know of any other K8 kiosks.

People Will Always Need Plates K8 tea towels

Why not buy a pack splendidly good K8 tea towels like these ones, designed by the fabulous People Will Always Need Plates. All money goes to the Twentieth Century Society campaign to protect the phone boxes.


  1. says

    What a superb blog. I love art deco architecture – but, as I now know (and obviously didn’t before), it’s vastly improved by being photographed with a lovely dog.

    You might want to take a visit to the Clapham / Balham area of south-west London, which has got rather a fabulous range of art-deco blocks within a short distance of one another, and covering the whole range of decorative order. On Balham High Road there’s Du Cane Court, which at 625 flats was (or even still is) apparently the largest privately-owned block in Europe. Then near Clapham South station, on Nightingale Lane, you’ve got the beautifully well-kept (and no doubt very pricey) Hightrees House. And over the station itself, Westbury Court – another beautiful block that has, unfortunately, been rather let go into a state of disrepair (though its 120 flats are still lived in).

    I’ll keep a look-out for you and the dog …

    • doganddeco says

      An Unreliable Witness – Don’t feel stupid!! I love all Art Deco buildings and am not too strict about their particular ‘genre’ (it just happens that I’m particularly keen on industrial buildings). I’ve been meaning to spend some time checking out the South London Deco hotspots, and I’ll definitely swing by Balham soon.
      Thanks for the tips.

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