Worcester Antiques
Antiques & 20th Century Collectables

Vintage Bakelite Phone 332L

GPO 300 Series Desk Phone


Original Bakelite British 1957 GPO model 332L dial telephone complete with cheese drawer.

100% genuine and complete British GPO black Bakelite phone in excellent working condition and ready to plug into any BT phone line socket. The 300 series was the first GPO phone model to include a bell ringer within the phone body and strikes the very best balance between vintage classic style and modern day usability. I find these telephones absolutely charming and if, like me, you grew up with dial telephones as a child and you have not used one for several decades it can be very nostalgic when you put the receiver to your ear and hear the familiar sounds as the dialler does it's job. The acoustics of the ring tone are also superb.

Bakelite Phone 332L

The phone has been professionally converted, in the most sympathetic manner, to work on a modern British Telecom line. The conversion has been undertaken using a correct period style cloth braided line cord. No components have been removed other than the original 2 core cloth braided line cord, which will be sent with the phone.

The phone retains all original GPO components and was released in 1957 as a factory refurbishment from the General Post Office (GPO) Factory, Cwmcarn, Wales F.W.R. Indicated by the matching GPO baseplate stamp and internal component chassis stamp, which are both marked 332L FWR57/2. The baseplate having an additional GPO batch sampled number stamp. The later style capacitor also has 1957 GPO markings and matching batch number. The handset has an indented oval with raised numbers 164 57, again matching the 1957 date of the components, chassis and base plate markings. Genuine GPO Number 10 dial with alpha numeric dial face (the letter L in the model number 332L represents alphanumeric dial), with polished stainless steel finger plate.

Before Purchase:

Please remember there are no * or # buttons on these old phones, you may need to keep a modern phone to make these type of calls. The phone will work reliably to receive calls on all UK land-line service providers. The phone will also dial out reliably on BT and Sky. For those with a cable home line (Virgin Media, Telewest, Talk Talk) it should also dial out, but we cannot 100% guarantee this; it will depend on the provider's pulse dialling line fault tolerance. Please read our blog about using old phones and the added comment concerning cable providers and testing Pulse Dialling.

Supplied with your own choice of TOWN NAME and NUMBER on the period reproduction dial card:

Within the UK we offer a 30 Day No Quibble Return (including if you find it doesn't dial out with a cable land-line provider).

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Bakelite GPO desk phone

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Conversion details:

  • Line cord replaced with period style cable cloth braided and BT phone plug.
  • Original cloth braided line will be sent with the phone.
  • Telephone REN value secured to 1 (allowing other phones to work on the same line)
  • Acoustic Shock prevention
  • Will function fully on any BT Line, or carrier company using a BT line, for example Sky.
  • Includes a reproduction A5599 1957 drawer code card for Brighton & Hove exchange (scan of an original rather than a computer generated version).

Restoration details:

  • Minimal
  • Cleaned with the same Bakelite cleaning compound used by the GPO.
  • No painting, no boot polish and no silicone!
  • Dialler has been dismantled, cleaned and adjusted. Gear pivots oiled with clock oil.
  • Wiring checked, component contacts have been cleaned
  • Ring tone corrected.
  • Bench tested

Condition:

The telephone is in excellent mechanical order, the bell rings correctly on incoming calls and the dialling accuracy is faultless on outgoing calls. Although no vintage telephone can match a modern phone, conversation is still clear both ways and literally as good as it can be when using the correct period diaphragm and microphone. There is distinct analogue quality to the audio greatly adding to the enjoyment of using the phone.

The Bakelite finish is in good condition and retains a perfect balance of patina and original gloss. As with all genuine Bakelite telephones there are occasional nibbles along some oblique edges and corners. The handset correctly shows signs of use and the Bakelite has the least display of gloss were the hand would have held the receiver. There are some marks on the body (picture number 5) at the contact point between the handset and body, these have developed over time and obviously cannot be seen when the handset is in position.

The handset cord is in perfectly acceptable condition for an original cord of it's age, however it is faded in comparison to the replaced line cord, with some wear from use.