Sunday, 6 January 2013

Picking my January Precious

Oh the tales this telephone could tell.  The stories and secret that have been spoken into it.  The laughter and the tears it has shared.  Memories by the million.  

For this is the telephone that my family used all of my growing up life.  Mum and Dad refused to update it even after it had gone out of fashion and the telephone company said they wanted to take it away and give them a plastic one with a plastic lead.  Now they are collectors items and I am so grateful that Mum and Dad kept it.  I spent a lot of my teenage years sitting in the hallway on the velvet chair which is now at the top of my stairs and next to the table that this telephone now stands on.  Curled up in the cushions, twiddling the cord between my fingers as I confided news and shared gossip with my friends.  

When I was little, our telephone number had just four numbers to it, then the 3 at the front became 29 and then in latter years a 4 was added to it and it became the normal six digit number.  The numbers are still visible, written on the little circle of card in the middle of the dial.  Just beneath the printed information to remind you to call 999 for Fire, Police or Ambulance and 100 for the operator.  Hand written by my dad, the ink is faded now, but this is still a tiny, tangible part of him, and still very precious.

At Christmas, the young children in our family were enthralled by the phone.  The weight of it in their little hands, the effort it took to put their tiny fingers into the silver holes of the dial and turn it.  The noise it made as it whirled back into position.  They had never come across a phone like this before.  

So, January 2013, I have 'picked my precious' - now please pop over to Sian's blog to share other people's precious possessions.

26 comments:

Jo said...

Great story and a great phone. It's fantastic that it's the phone that you used when growing up and not just one you've bought from a collectors fair. It's beautiful.

Jennie said...

How wonderful to have that phone still! A treasure indeed. Another great story - thanks for sharing. J xx

Sian said...

This is perfect! You have drawn such a vivid picture of your teenage, gossiping self I could see it in my head. And you reminded me that my best friend's number had only 4 digits too. I can remember it still: if I had a phone from way back when, I think it would make it onto my list too. I love it.

Thanks Deb. I'm looking forward now to seeing what else you have in store

Chipper said...

Aren't old phones beautiful, especially when they hold that many tales :-) It still amazes me that now days the complete phone fits into the palm of your hand! My dad collected old phones and his favourite was one of the really old ones that you held the receiver to your ear and spoke into the front of the box on the wall. He hooked it up and we used it for years. The only problem was that you had to STAND in front of the phone. Maybe he did it deliberately to encourage shorter phone calls!

Cheri said...

That's definitely an oldie! We still have a Princess style landline in use in our upstairs bedroom, but it at least has a push button keypad!

Louise said...

A lovely story Deb. I too remember tel no's when they were smaller.

Scrappi Sandi said...

Precious indeed Deb! I love the noise that the dial makes when it turns back to it's starting point & would love a phone just like that! We never had a phone at home when I was growing up & I spent many hours in a phone box, 100 yards along the road, with a pile of 2p peices!!! TFS :D

Sabrina S. said...

Awesome story! Sometimes, I wish we didn't throw our stuff in the trash, it can become so priceless a few decades later! Lucky you for having kept this piece of your story. I too remember these old phones. Happy 2013.
Cheers from Bordeaux, France

scrappyjacky said...

How wonderful to still have it,Deb....I clearly remember ours....which was a black one...and the hours I spent on it!!

dogmatix said...

Great story and that you still have the phone is brilliant.

Melissa said...

What a beautiful phone & lovely memories to accompany it! Reminds me of a teenage telephone story of mine own where I dropped the cordless phone in the bathtub.

My Daddy was a telephone man & retired from Southwestern Bell a few years ago, so we had many many phones over the years. This past year I wrote a ladies' retreat curriculum entitled God Is Calling You and I took a bunch of old phones from Daddy's garage to use as props for the retreat area. I also used one old black phone for skits that I wrote where God was calling on that old phone that wasn't plugged in anywhere.

Abi said...

I love this old phone and how lovely that your parents persisted and kept it! Nowadays we upgrade our phone nearly every year, it seems sad after reading your lovely story!

Sheena said...

Thats wonderful that you still have that phone. I can literally imagine you sitting in the hall chatting. Many thanks for sharing x

Missus Wookie said...

I can imagine the fascination that old phone had for small people - I have a Fisher Price toy one and a first mobile brick sized toy which confuse them - that would be even better. How fun :)

Mary B said...

Oh I remember phones like this but when I was growing up they were black and only black. The dial with it's slowness to return, the exchange name and 4 figure number I still remember. I have a photo of me in the hall where the phone was under the stairs talking for hours to my then boyfriend.

Alison said...

Your memory has brought back many memories for me too Deb......it's funny to think of having to sit in the one place to make a call now!
Alison xx

Elizabeth said...

I didn't know the old phones came in white. We only had a black one. I can picture you sitting in your velvet chair, twirling the cord, and sharing secrets with your friends. How wonderful that your parents kept the phone because you will always have those memories whenever you look at it. Yes, the phones were certainly a lot heavier than the plastic ones of today.

alexa said...

How splendid that it is still in existence and your parents kept it ... I remember black ones like it :). That's a lovely picture of you chatting away, twiddling the cord, and how precious to have your dad's handwriting too.

S said...

What wonderful memories are attached to the phones we grew up with - especially during our chatty teen years. I remember our 5-digit number was preceded by two letters when I was little. I don't remember exactly when and why we started using all 7 digits instead of the name of the exchange. Thanks for sharing your story - you've brought back memories for me as well.

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Oh, this is cool, Deb. I love that you still have that phone, and your story brought back memories of my teenage years. We had one phone, attached to the kitchen wall, and my sister and I had to share it. We would set the kitchen timer and when it went off, it was the next person's turn. :o)

Irene said...

A beautifully told story of your precious telephone. I could practically hear you dialing a friend for a long gossip! It is wonderful you still have it and all those memories.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

That is such a cool phone and a wonderful memory!

Karen said...

Oh, this is just wonderful! How I wish I still had the old phone from my childhood. Your story brought back memories of the party line, and trying to listen in before my mother caught me!

Maria Ontiveros said...

What a unique choice - I'm really loving everyone's story this month.
Rinda

Ifa said...

I remember one of those! I would love to have one to use now but after my DH pointed out that it is not cordless, I had a rethink. But then, with cordless, we've also lost "that comfy chair by the phone", haven't we ?

Jane said...

I can still remember my childhood home number, thanks for reminding me of happy times xx