Thought For The Day

Thought For The Day:

Sign on the side of the road: "On This Exact Spot on July, 24, 1876, Nothing Happened."

Retirement is great except you don't get a day off.

Telephone. An object which rings when the only person at home is taking a bath.

One man's telephone is another man's wrong number.

Telephone. A device that makes it easy to distinguish voices and hard to extinguish them.

Telephone, n, An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance.

A telephone pole never strikes a vehicle except in self defence.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Frosty Morning

We had minus eight deg C this morning.  So my little truck (known locally as a Bakkie) was frozen and the guinee fowls were tiptoeing in the fields.  Such is life in the mountains.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Tim in Australia: Part of my Collection

Here are two pics showing part of my collection.  They should be of interest to everyone.


Office Shelves


Friday, June 24, 2011


Tim's Interests

My interests are mostly APO and GPO Bakelite and plastic telephones up to say the 70’s


New Members

Welcome to Gary Goff of TCI, Bob & Jo Mills of ATCS and Tim Murphy.  I will set up a corner for each of you where you may add info for collectors to browse.

Wednesday morning was a bit cold; minus 8 deg. C.  We all bundled up like Eskimos and huddled around until the sun showed itself.  So, the mornings are freezeing, the days hot and glorious, and the evenings once again cold.  This is not a time for swimming in the river nor cold showers.

And this is the frosty picture. "Frozen Nissan" as it were.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rob's Corner

Just as soon as I get a "round tuit" I will put up some odds and ends here.  Life is busy for a pensioner.

Oh, and have a sunset

Does anyone own one of these and can pass on the handbook or a copy to me? I have one of these and cannot find any information on it. I have tried all over the world. I even tried to contact the manufacturers but got no feedback from them. If someone can help, I would be most grateful.

Geoff's Corner

In 1961 my friend and I both aged 14 bought some TMC sound-powered telephones from an ex-government surplus shop. We thought they were great, no batteries needed, and then we found a candlestick phone stem, no receiver, they were used as microphones in World War II by the girls on the plotting tables in the RAF control centres.

Well, we discovered that putting the carbon mike in series with a battery and the sound powered speaker units, gave us LOUD speech. We honestly thought we had invented the telephone!  After discovering we hadn't, we decided to build an automatic exchange, so we wrote off to all the telephone factories.  AEI which had taken over Siemens Brothers replied, and said they would send us some parts. A week later, when I came home from school, this big van came to my house loaded up with phones, relay sets, reels of cables and it filled up the back lawn. When my stepfather came home, he went ballistic and demanded to know who had given me permission to receive this load of equipment! My mum who covered for me, told him that he had said it was OK, but had forgotten about it (phew!!). I stowed it away in the garage. That was a close shave, because he often had got my mum up against the gas cooker and said "I'M THE MASTER IN THIS HOUSE AND DON'T YOU FORGET IT"!!!

 I went work for the GPO telephones and worked through their apprenticeship and did very well in tests and courses because of my prior experimenting - no-one else in my area was interested in telephones as a hobby. There was a TV series called "Dr Finlay's casebook" which had the housekeeper, Janet answering the candlestick telephone (GPO NO. 2) all through the series. What was great, was that the bell-set actually tinkled when we either flashed the Operator or hung-up. The other TV programme I liked was "Z" cars, a police series which featured the new 706 telephone, and they had lots of black ones featured every week. I still like both types of telephone - I have a 1960 AEI black 706 by my bedside connected to a 1960 PAX, and a candlestick no.2 made by Ericssons, Beeston in 1912 off my dolls-eye switchboard.

  When I finished my apprentice-training, I went to work in a strowger exchange which was unfortunately very boring for a 20-year old. The cleaner started to throw his weight around a bit, and the Technical Officers seemed powerless to stop his bullying antics. The final straw for me was one morning while we having tea break, he burst in shouting "ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT  WHO "dirtied"  the toilet pan???"    Now I am being polite when I use the word "dirtied" because ex-Chief Petty Officers in the Royal Navy are more explicit with their words!!  I can leave it to your imagination as to what he actually said....  I then thought do I want to put up with this ignorant pig, I already have one at home that I can't wait to get away from. SO, a chance came up to work as a telephone engineer for Plessey in Southampton and I went  to work for them. They had previously been called "Communication Systems"  a part of Automatic Electric Co in Liverpool. I learnt all about Public Address systems, Master Clocks as well as telephone systems. We were based in Southampton so I had  a chance to go on-board some ships and maintain their telephone Exchanges, on ships like the "Orsova", "Oronsay" and "Orcades" of the P&O line. Also ships of the Union Castle line, often bound for South Africa, like the "Pendennis Castle".                                           TO BE CONTINUED......

Photo's of my telephone cords.

I have an old fifties shoelace/microphone-screen braiding machine that makes the cordage and I plait the cords by hand. Then I usually fit spades or by special order bind the ends with loops. The colours are ivory, red, green and brown. I recently made some silver-grey cord that they like in Australia and can be fitted on any colour. I also do bell-receiver cords for candlestick phones in brown or green, and the small bell-set cord for 232 telephones. Post has to be advised, but the present prices are: handset £12; line £15; bell-set £9; bell-receiver £9 any colour.
Best wishes from a rainy England. Geoff

"An Englishman's home is his castle"
Castle? In 2011 a young couple can't even afford a shed down the bottom of the garden!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

New Member

Welcome to Geoff Mawdsley from the UK.  Happy to have you on board.

Geoff makes telephone cords for vintage telephones.  He can be contacted at
He will be setting up a website of his own soon and he will have a link on this blog.

I quote from Geoff's e-mail:  "What would be a good idea, if new members give a little information as to how they became interested in telephones, what that interest is, and details of their collection , and what they collect."

Many thanks Geoff.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

E-mail Address

I have added my e-mail address which you will see below under contact details.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Telephone Collectors South Africa

Well here it is.  Hopefully folks will join me with this project.  There are no telephone collectors clubs, associations or groups in South Africa.  So this is my attempt at creating something where collectors worldwide and in SA can get together and share information on this interesting subject.  There will be no membership charges and if and when folks join, I shall put together a database of members and their contact details should they want to be contacted.

I shall try to put up posts on a regular basis but I request that members and visitors send me information for the posts.  Shortly an email address will be added to the contact details section and links will be added.  Sould anyone wish to add their links, just contact me.