A Community Network for Bowes Park and Bounds Green
In recent years we have come to expect ever faster broadband connections on or home computers; permanently connected electronic communications are available in our pockets on iPhones and Androids; laptops and iPads now even connect to WiFi underground on the tube.So it is sobering to think that it is still within living memory when telephone calls needed an actual human person to make a connection between a caller and recipient.
In a new project, begun this month, the Enfield Museum Service will be hosting a small exhibition over the summer in the Dugdale Centre called ‘Number please? Working with the Enfield telephone exchange.’
The switchboard forms part of the Science Museum's Communication collection and was the last of its kind to be taken out of service in the Greater London area.
The small temporary exhibition also features a few items relating to local telecommunications and some evocative photographs of the Enfield telephone exchange and its operators taken by a Science Museum photographer in 1960.
A series of curator talks and guided walks will form part of the exhibition programme over the summer.
The switchboard is making a short return visit to Enfield before featuring in a new Science museum gallery on the history of communications due to open in 2014. Whilst it is in the borough over the summer The Enfield Exchange project team want to find out more about the working life of the switchboard, and more importantly, the lives of the people that worked with it. The project team have put out a call for anyone who worked at the Enfield exchange as an operator - or "Hello Girl" to get in touch and share their memories.
Do you know a relative or a neighbour who worked at Enfield Telephone exchange? The project team want to hear from you.
The exhibition will be on display until 31 August 2012 in the lobby of the Dugdale Centre, Thomas Hardy House, 39 London Road, Enfield EN2 6DS
More information about the project: