Talk by John Liffen. The telephone was introduced in Britain in 1878 but it was not until 1899 that the first exchange in Enfield was opened, in a small room next to a pub. Initially take-up was slow but by the 1920s large new exchanges were needed. The talk reviews the development of telephone use across the area of the present London Borough of Enfield, focusing particularly on the visible infrastructure. However, impending changes in communications technology may mean that the prominent exchange buildings will be surplus to requirements in a few years’ time.
As well as recent photos taken by the speaker, the talk will include many historic images drawn from BT Archives, Enfield Local Studies and the Science Museum Group.