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August 17, 2007


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Beth Kay

Being a recent graduate, I absolutely agree here. I remember in my first year when I wanted to try and save on my mobile phone bill and would traipse up to the nearest phone box and stand shivering in the freezing cold/rain until someone decided ripping the phone off the hook would be a good idea (maybe they got some bad news on a call?). So I started to use the more expensive phone in my halls’ common room. There was only one phone for the thousands of students and waiting for the international students, who talked for hours and hours and hours, filled up most of my evenings. Those waiting could also listen to your conversations as it was in the middle of the common room!!

The whole experience made me determined to find a good mobile contract, so for the next two years I could have conversations in the comfort of my own living room. I advise any new students to get lots of free minutes on their mobiles and stay snug in their beds whilst making a call.


Beth - glad my post struck a chord.


Do you remember the phoneboxes that were around in the 1970s & 80s? They had one slot for 2 pence pieces and one slot for 10 pence pieces.

The thing was that when you used one, there was a gap of about 1 1/2 seconds between the call being answered and the 'pips' going, indicating that you were to feed the slot machine with coins.

Aha - Us poor impoverished kids at our middling former grammer school had it sussed... When calling home to speak to poor and similarly impoverished parents we had to make the most of those 1 1/2 magic seconds. How?

Simple really- during the brief golden silence, you simply stated the last four digits of the telephone number of the call box you were ringing from before replacing the handset. You then waited about 10 seconds, avoiding the Evil Eyes of those in the queue. Low and behold the phone would ring and your parents would have rung you back (using the telephone number you had just given them) without you ever having spent a penny.

Two things:
This didn't work at the school payphone as it did not accept incoming calls.
It doesnt' work at all now, as you now have to put money in a public phone before making a call.

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