Previous home telephone,mobile phone and internet days. How did you communicate with your friends and relatives etc?

Accy cyclist

Legendary Member
I've just listened to someone on a local radio phone in talking about how they contacted friends and others without landline telephones,mobile phones and the internet,many years ago. Before my mum and dad got a telephone in 1974 we'd use the red box phone five minutes walk away (often waiting five minutes in the pouring rain for the one already using it to leave:rain:), or post written notes through the doors of those who didn't have home telephones. I remember my mum often giving me a scribbled note,telling me to post it through street number so and so,which could be half a mile away!:ohmy: How did you communicate with family,friends and others in those days...if you were there and can remember them?🤔
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Grand Old Lady
We'd always had a landline. The phone was stuffed away in the corner of the room. Most of the time when it rang and you were upstairs, you'd have missed the call before you got to it after stubbing your toe to immense frustration. When i was a lad, i'd go to my friends house, either cycle or walk to see if they were in. No other way of knowing. Same when we visited family, we'd just go to see if they were in. Sometimes they were, sometimes they weren't. Long distant calls to family were short because of costs and getting my sister off the phone talking to her friends was no easy task! I did send and receive letters from my Grandad. I wish i knew what happened to them as i did keep them... :sad:

Nowadays, i and everybody i suspect plan such things on their mobile devices. It seems inconceivable that you would bother to make a journey without checking they were there first without leaving your house. One of my friends lived 3 miles away and i would just go on the off chance that he was in. Im ashamed to admit that i would never make that journey now unless i would knew i was going to achieve the desired outcome, which was at the time, that he firstly was in and secondly wanted to go to the park or something... Kids don't do that much anymore and if i were a kid i doubt i would, as they are but a swift message away on their phones.

How things change in short order eh?
I remember parents using telegram via the Post Office to communicate with distant kin or the red box phone next to it. Usually death in the wider family. For emergencies nearly everyone along the street would use one of the neighbours and drop the money for it.

Dad would spend weekends writing letters and filling up football entries. I recall an A4 size pad where you would tear off a sheet to write letters, box of envelopes and stamps. I also recall red wax seal for parcels. It looked very officious.

I guess our local postie was our lifeline to the World.


Found in the Yorkshire hills ...
Once a week phone call from a phone box in the town when I was away at university. It meant they knew I was still alive whilst in Northern Ireland. That's still going but from our landline; it's moved on over the years from them checking I'm OK to the other way round.

We do the same with my eldest but we're all now on Zoom instead. It's just he's got FB Messenger that he uses as well.

Moon bunny

Wha' d'yer mean, "veteran"?
. I remember my mum often giving me a scribbled note,telling me to post it through street number so and so,which could be half a mile away!🤔
Growing up in Tyrone, being given a note in an envelope to pass on to so-and-so’s kid could have quite sinister connections.
Otherwise it was a letter posted, a knock on the door, public telephone or face to face in the street, pub or whatever.


Flouncing Nobber
During my young days in the Northern Isles we never had a phone until Imwas around 8 years ormso old. If you wanted to talk to someone you damn well went and spoke to them in person.

During my teen years in Engerland we had a home phone, and living in a small market town meant that chatting to my chums didn't reauire a 5 mile bike ride.

As a young adult I bought a flat but was asay with the Army much of the time,mso jever had a home phone. I think id have been about 23 before I had a home phone.

Fancy your friend's parents trying to relay a message back to your friend when he arrived back in ! :wacko:
My parents never had a telephone. It took me a while before I got used to using one . It felt a bit like talking to an answering machine .
I think most of the communication was done at school. Things would be arranged in advance.
Its amazing how far we have come so fast. I was stationed abroad, as were my 3 brothers and so my parents had to get a landline. But our main form of communication was by 'Blueys', the single sheet writing paperback that folded up into an envolope.View attachment 584495
I used to write to Beautiful Wife on those or similar, when she was my Fiancee and lived in Japan. I can still write her parent's address from memory.
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