Skimming through 50 year old copies of the Berwickshire as one does on wet and windy Fridays in the Borders Huttonian came across this little item from January 1958THE Mid and East Berwick Area of the NFU Scotland have decided to make a strong protest to the Telephone Department of the GPO on the increases in telephone charges. The charge from Duns to Paxton, which serves Foulden and Hutton, is increased from 9d to 1s. But the Duns Group Area map seems to show Berwick and district has been deliberately left out, meaning a call from Duns to Berwick costs 1s. This is compared to just 3d for a call from Duns to Dunbar, despite being five miles further away. It was pointed out that Berwick was the main business area in relation to farming and as a result a grave injustice had been done.
When you consider that a shilling (5p) in 1958 was worth having in your pocket (You could go to the public loo 12 times or buy a dozen eggs) and worth a few quid purchasing power now, getting on the blower was not a cheap proposition. It would have been better to summon Jim's Taxi and deliver your message to Hutton personally. And you can imagine how the lines (three?) fron Duns to Dunbar must have been jammed all day by indigent Dingers desperate to get their money's worth for that extra five miles. : 'Is that you Rabbie? Great day for a comparatively cheap phone call. If you happen to be going to Berwick the day would you be sure to buy the Berwick Advertiser. Then when you get back to Dunbar, give us a tinkle and read me out the special offers from Joes. I could phone them myself
but One Shilling
that's bloody daylight robbery'
Image is of a phone of the period-possibly in Joes and thus usually silent
Labels: Berwickshire News, Cheap phone calls