Resources: Book List
...adding to the story
Hold the Line Please
The books featured here are a selection of educational, purely factual and those of personal reminiscences, many of which have been meticulously researched and dedicatingly written.

Image: Hold the Line Please by Sally Southall.
| EXIT to Archives | GPO Books | Early Years | Gloucester and Norwich | Between The Lines | David Occomore | Telephony | The Post Office and Telephones | OUR Post Office |
Resources adding to the story

These publications span the timeline of pre-GPO (General Post Office), through to post-British Telecom and cover many historical and social aspects of the telephone.

GPO Books
Post Office Factories Transmitting Signals My GPO Family Please wipe your boots

See below for more details...

Post Office/British Telecom Factories 1870-1994 is the history of the manufacturing and repair side of the GPO, with 70 pages (5 pages of colour photos). Out of print.

Transmitting Signals is the early and working life of R. Neil M. Alston and his career with Post Office Telephones. Serving with the Royal Corps of Signals whilst doing National Service - training and on active service in the Canal Zone during the Suez crisis in 1952-53. The GPO of the 50s and 60s and the changes that privatisation with BT bought about. In depth details of equipment, including telephones, exchanges, telex and faxes. Written in his own words, during his retirement, these memoirs show what life was like in the ever changing technological world of communications.
Buy a copy via

My GPO Family

See for details.

Please wipe your boots is the irreverent, funny and true story of an engineer's career in the GPO.  Available as a Kindle e-book and printed paperback from

Early Years... by Monty J Hall Ellis
The Early Years of the Telephone Service in Bristol Weston 100 The Early History of the Telephone in Bath
Three fascinating books by Monty J Hall Ellis...

The Early Years of the Telephone Service in Bristol 1879-1931

"Weston 100" A Century of Telephone Service in Weston-super-Mare

The Early History of the Telephone in Bath

Gloucester and Norwich
History of the Telephone Service in Gloucester The First 100 years of Telephones Viewed from Norwich
History of the Telephone Service in Gloucester 1887 to 1987 by Arthur Dodd.

The First 100 Years of Telephones Viewed from Norwich by Eric Clayton.

These two volumes were published by British Telecommunications in 1987 and 1980 respectively.
Between The Lines
Between The Lines by Robert C. Morris You Got an Ology? by Maureen Lipman & Richard Phillips The Telephone Operator by Alan James
Between The Lines, A personal history of the British public telephone and telecommunications service 1870-1990 by Robert C. Morris
A selection of books from personal recollections to witty commercials and education.

David Occomore
Behind The Dial by David Occomore
Behind The Dial by David Occomore.

Also by David: Number Please- a history of London telephone exchanges from 1879 to 1912 (92 pages with pictures).
Telephony by J.Atkinson
Telephony Vol I ( paperback) Telephony Vol I (hardback) Telephony Vol II (hardback)
One of the 'bibles' detailing the British Post Office's manual and automatic switching systems.

Left: Paperback edition 1979.
Middle and right: Hardback originals.
The Post Office and Telephones
The Post Office by Nancy Martin Hold the Line Please by Sally Southall
The Post Office from Carrier Pigeon to Confravision by Nancy Martin.

Hold the Line Please - The Story of the Hello Girls by Sally Southall.
OUR Post Office...
Our Post Office by Mary F. Moore Our Telegraph and Telephone Services by Mary F. Moore
Our Post Office. Our Telegraph and Telephone Services by Mary F. Moore.

"For details of other publications about the Post Office for use in schools, please enquire in writing from your Head Postmaster or Telephone Manager."

Printed by George Over Ltd., London and Rugby, for the Public Relations Department of the General Post Office. SPB1 (3) and SPB2 (3)

The Post Office Circular

The Post Office Circular was issued every Wednesday (typically) during the 1960s to every member of Postal and Telecom staff.

"Amendments, which are incorporated with the Post Office Circular, to publications like the Post Office Guide, Post Offices in the United Kingdom, London Post Offices and Streets and to all other standard lists, and correction slips and loose leaf amendments for rule books etc., the issue of which is announced in the Post Office Circular, should be carried into the relative books at once."

"The Post Office Circular contains information for Post Office servants only and should not be shown to the public."

"After the Circular has been read, it should be placed flat and in proper order in portfolio SS 472. At the end of each year the year's Circulars should be removed, tied in a bundle and retained until their period of currency has expired. Each Circular is current for two years. At the end of each month, the Circulars for the same month two years earlier should be removed from that year's bundle and treated as confidential waste paper."

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