Steamy tales behind this red phone box that took call of the mountains
If we could dial ‘P’ for past what stories would be revealed about this old telephone box…
It stood for decades in rainy Mayfair, just yards from the famous Playboy club and arrangements for many a liaison will have been made inside its bodice of cast-iron ribs and glass lit by a bare light bulb.
Phone boxes way back when were everybody’s kiosk of secrets, hushed dates, fumbled amorous encounters and steamy passions.
This one resided on the corner of Curzon Street, a part of London known for rock stars, decadence, parties and clandestine affairs of the heart.
The box is a K6, one of two in Curzon Street – it was introduced by the General Post Office between 1926 and 1983. This one was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the Coronation of King George V in 1935. About 60,000 were installed across Britain.
There has always been something naughty but nice about these call boxes but in the 1990s Westminster council decided to clean their act up.
Most of the kiosk in London – but in particular in Mayfair because of its hedonistic reputation – were becoming repositories for business cards advertising the services of French maids, Australian Stunners and Gorgeous Grannies…
Westminster councillors demanded the phone boxes were redesign to stop the cards being posted. More than 20,000 cards were placed every week in the 500 kiosks within central London.
This particular kiosk stood close to Chesterfield Gardens, a cul-de-sac off Curzon Street where Radio Caroline had its land-based office – 17 Curzon Street was sales office for Radio London.
Both were shut down by Harold Wilson’s Marines Offences Act in 1968 which tried to turn swashbuckling radio pirates like Tony Prince and Noel Edmunds into real criminals of the air waves.
But the saddest story about this bit of old England which now stands outside the world’s greenest hotel, AquaCity-Poprad, near the High Tatras mountains, happened at number 9.
This was the run-down two bedroom apartment owned by American songwriter Harry Nilsson.
And that apartment was the tragic scene of the deaths of pop and rock icons Mama Cass and drummer Keith Moon in the heady 1970s.
On both occasions the Press pack, eager to get their stories to their Fleet Street newsdesks three miles away, would have used this kiosk to phone across the breaking news.
And now this tiny corner of the High Tatras will be forever England with all its memories, charm and intrigue, is being created and nurtured by financial angel and philanthropist Dr Jan Telensky who is majority shareholder of AquaCity-Poprad.