Portree Telephone Exchange
Portree telephone exchange, on the island of Skye, was the last manual telephone exchange to be closed in the United Kingdom on October 14, 1976.
The first telephone exchange on Skye was installed at Portree during 1926. The system was quite different from that which users know today, and the CBS2 (Central Battery Signalling No 2) system used a signalling battery (supplied by the exchange) for the bell, but each phone was required to have its own own battery to power the speech circuit.
The closure marked the end of the public manual telephone system, after Postmaster Ernest Marples had first announced, On May 21, 1958, that Subscriber Trunk Dialling (STD) would be introduced to make calling easier and cheaper, with the changeover starting in Bristol the following December, marking the start of the £35 million modernisation project which would ultimately end the need to use the operator to make a trunk call.
This also marked the complete adoption of automatic call charging, which was then determined by both time and distance - prices began at 2d, and a three-minute call cost 2s 6d, a reduction from 3s 6d.
Note: The marker below only points to Portree, not the exchange (location unknown), simply to enable the other links on the page.
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