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Newmarket Local History Society

The Newmarket Telephone Exchange (page 4)

Postwar to the Present Day

When World War II ended our financially impoverished country commenced the long and costly task of repairing the hundreds of thousands of war damaged buildings, priority being given to housing the homeless.In Newmarket work slowly proceeded on tidying up war damaged premises in the High Street.
Telegraph technology was moving ahead and with more automation available there was an urgent need to move the telephone exchange from its temporary home in the Jockey Club. This happened in 1949 with the completion of the large building in The Avenue, for which the steelwork had been erected before the war. The GPO semi-automatic telephone exchange enabled local telephone subscribers to dial local calls but they had to speak to one of the girl operators to make trunk calls. By 1960 the exchange became fully automated when STD (Subscriber Trunk Dialling) arrived; Newmarket was one of the first exchanges in the country to have this service. The Postmaster General came to open it and it was shown on television.
In 1951 the Post Office including the sorting office had moved from its temporary accommodation in the King Edward VII Memorial Hall into the new building on the south side of High Street,thereby making the Hall once more available for social events. The land for both the two adjacent buildings had been allocated by the then owners, the Jockey Club.

The exchange building in The Avenue as it is today (2009), containing automated communications
equipment belonging to British Telecom and other network's communication equipment..

Left: The stone plaque over the door of the Exchange building. Right: The main entrance to the Post Office with stone plaque dated 1951.

History of the Newmarket Telephone Exchange - opening page
History of the Newmarket Telephone Exchange page 2
History of the Newmarket Telephone Exchange page 3
Jack Hoxley's story
The Admiralty Shutter Telegraph of the early 19th c

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