The Mortlake Road Book Exchange

26 Mortlake Road, Graceville Queensland 4075, Australia

Our beautiful bright red English telephone box houses our library. It was hand made over a year and required more than 600 hours of labour.

The K2 telephone kiosk is arguably the most iconic British telephone box of all time. K2 stands for Kiosk 2 and it was the second booth to be deployed around London. It was also the first to be painted red. Designed by British architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in a 1924 competition, the K2 was first introduced in 1926. Over the next nine years some 1,700 kiosks were installed, mostly in London.
The K2 kiosk was constructed of cast-iron sections, bolted together, standing on a concrete base with a teak door. The box stood 2850mm high and weighed around 1250kgs. Its general form is a four-sided rectangular box with a domed roof.

The K2 was a large kiosk and so it was not only expensive to produce (around £35 each), but was also costly to transport. In 1929 the General Post Office looked again to Scott for a kiosk with the strengths of the K2, but a more cost-effective design that could be installed nationwide; the K3. Since then there have been a further 15 models produced, including the Metropolitan Police Service telephone boxes, a.k.a “The Tardis” made famous by the Dr. Who television series. Today, the 208 remaining K2 Telephone Boxes in London are beautiful landmarks and are mostly protected Grade II Listed Buildings. The grade II category meaning “buildings that are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them”.

I have always thought that these telephone boxes are things of beauty. I found plans for the construction of a timber K2 telephone box at Construction started in October 2015 and was essentially complete by November 2016. All of the decorative moulding and beading have been hand routed, carved, sanded, drilled, sawn and painted. It is a 90% scale model of the original K2 telephone box and took more than 600 hours to complete. It was a labour of love.

In 2019, the telephone box was moved to the house boundary to create our street library. We held an opening party for the street which was attended by HRH, Her Majesty, The Queen – admittedly in carboard cut-out form. Please come and visit.

Located at:26 Mortlake Road, Graceville Queensland 4075, Australia

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