LANDLINES are to be axed by the year 2025. Here are five things you used that humble copper wire for before the internet came along.
Football transfer news
You’d see an advert for Clubcall on Teletext announcing that your Fourth Division team was ‘finalising Shearer deal’. You’d call the premium-rate number and eventually discover they weren’t signing Alan, but someone called Terry Shearer, as physio. Then you’d have to explain the subsequent £30 charge on your dad’s itemised BT bill.
You’d come in from a disappointing night down the pub, and between Tour of Duty and Highlander: The Series, see an advert promising an instant, sexy phone party with ‘like-minded fun people’. In reality, it would just be you and some bloke from Redditch talking about his job selling PVC windows, because all the genuinely fun people were out at real parties.
Before Spotify, if you wanted to hear a song you liked, you had to either wait for it to come on the radio, get on the bus into town and buy the record, or call Dial-a-Disc. It was too expensive to listen to the full track on your landline, so you’d end up feeding all your pocket money into the local phone booth, which at worst had been smashed up by yobs and at best was full of piss.
The Speaking Clock
Before the days of mobile phones, if you didn’t have a watch you’d have to get up, walk to the hall where the landline was, dial a long number on a rotary phone and listen to an automated voice tell you the hour. It was an arduous process, and would have been quicker and cheaper to pop into town for a Casio.
Listening to crossed lines
Maybe it was due to an atmospheric anomaly or too much static, but you’d often hear other people talking down the line. Usually the conversations were garbled or boring, but occasionally you’d really luck out and hear a couple engaging in sex chat.