The Telephone Exchange
Operator, number please
It is hard to believe, living in a world where mobile phones are the norm and texting and video chat are everyday occurrences, that Ruddington was first introduced to the telephone only a little over a century ago. This happened in 1906 when the manual exchange was erected on Wilford Road. It only provided 12 lines.
By the 1930s, the telephone exchange had moved to the High Street, in the building that faces the entrance to Church Street. The operator lived on the premises and had to be available 24 hours a day to connect calls. The chair on display in the museum is the original from the Ruddington Exchange; the switchboard was donated by British Telecom.
Visitors can enjoy a demonstration of how the switchboard was used as well as learn about its design and construction. As one of the last places in England to switch to an automatic exchange system, only doing so in 1962, Ruddington is a fitting place to learn about the old procedure!