It Never Ceases to Amaze Us What Still Turns Up

Thanks to Martyn Hillier

These receipts were seen on eBay in December 2023 and were for phone calls made from Newent Police Station in July 1952.

A receipt in respect of a private telephone call.
(Gloucestershire Police Archives URN 11245-3)


A receipt in respect of a private telephone call.
(Gloucestershire Police Archives URN 11245-1)

A receipt in respect of a private telephone call.
(Gloucestershire Police Archives URN 11245-2)

The receipts were signed by Police Constable 520 Peter Hillier and bought by his son, retired Police Constable 520 Martyn Hillier  and donated to the archives.

Once they were donated to the archives we set about trying to do some research and found that we asked more questions than we answered.

Why did someone use the police station phone?

Not many people had phones and phone calls were expensive. There were telephone kiosks in Newent but you needed coins  to make a call and if it was not a local call you did not know how much it would cost so would need a lot of ‘change’ to feed the phone.

These were the Button A and Button B pay phones, first introduced in 1925, with calls connected callers via an operator on insertion of the call fee. The caller then pushed Button A to deposit the coins and make the connection. If a call could not be connected for some reason, or if there was no reply, Button B was pushed and all the coins were returned.

Who were they calling?

We did wonder if perhaps the numbers called were police stations but looking up the Gloucestershire number (Moreton in Marsh) it was not the same. We then thought why would someone call three different different police stations on the same evening?

Where did they live?

We know that Police Constable Peter Hillier lived in Connemara Upper Culvert Street, the house doesn’t appear to exist anymore but there is a Connemara Close at the upper end of Culver Street.

We found a Bryan Jones  living in Cinema Cottage in Culver Street Newent in the late 1940s early 1950s. His family had lived in Culver Street since at least 1939. Is the the person who made the calls?

When did Culvert Street become Culver Street?

It is thought that Culvert Street is a corruption of Coleford Street and that in the mid 20th Century it became Culver Street.

If you have any information that will add to the story please get in touch.



This page was added on 06/02/2024.

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