Timelord's Arcane Relic Discovered In Sheffield

The Sheffield TARDIS IIGenerations of Sheffielder’s have fallen in love with the police box next to the town hall. It’s not blue, it’s not the ‘right’ shape and it lost its blue light years ago, but Who cares? We can still fantasize about travelling across time and space in it.

Personally, I’d go back to the 1930s, just to find out whether people really did walk as quickly as they do in old news reels. Where would you go?

“This Police Box, which is still used operationally, is the sole survivor of 120 boxes which served the Sheffield City Police and the community for nearly 40 years.

Introduced by the Chief Constable, Percy J Sillitoe, in October 1928, in the days when there were few police vehicles and no personal radios, the boxes were sited on police beats all over the City and provided a contact point for police officers and members of the public. Each box had a direct telephone link with the local police station which was freely available to members of the public seeking police assistance.

The boxes were visited by patrolling officers at hourly intervals when information was passed by ‘phone between patrolling officers and supervisory staff at police stations.

A ‘blue’ electric lamp, controlled from the local police station, was located on the top of each box and used to indicate that there was an important message to be passed out.

Although small in size (about 5 feet square) the boxes were used by one, and often two, patrolling officers for meal-breaks – usually sandwiches and a flask of tea – and for report writing and recording messages for other patrolling and supervisory officers.

Occasionally the boxes served as a temporary lock-up for anyone who had been arrested and was awaiting transport to a police station.

The boxes remained in regular use until the 1960’s [sic] when modern policing techniques and improved communications made them obsolete.”

From the information board fixed to the box.

Except this one isn’t obsolete, apart from being our local TARDIS that we all love, it is still in use. If you feel like shattering your childhood illusions, there are photos showing inside the box on this thread of the Sheffield History Forum – but there is a catch, you will have to register with the forum to see the pictures 🙁

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