Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: June 13, 2018
Webpage updated: June 13, 2018

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When in 1912 the General Post Office took over the local telephone service from the National Telephone Company, the Devonport manual telephone exchange was located at number 38 Chapel Street, almost on the corner with Cumberland Street.  It was Devonport number 51.  The GPO moved it to an upper floor of the Devonport Post Office on the corner of Fore Street and Chapel Street.

To contact a subscriber in Devonport it was necessary to dial the code '69' in front of the number required.

Work started in 1955 on building a new automatic telephone exchange at Ann's Place, Stoke.  At that time there were reported to be 1,900 telephones connected to the Devonport exchange although there were only 1,100 lines.   A lot of subscribers must have had to share lines.  While the construction work was progressing, some 900 non-dial telephone instruments were replaced with new ones that had dials.  The new building covered some 2,700 square feet and contained 41 racks of switching equipment which would be capable of dealing with 2,900 lines.

Devonport's subscribers were allocated numbers with Plymouth's 51000 to 53599 range while numbers between 53700 and 53999 were reserved for business customers who already had more than ten lines apiece.

The new Devonport Telephone Exchange was brought into operation on Tuesday June 24th 1958, which must have pleased the 150 new customers who were waiting to be given a line.