Leeds & West Yorkshire

Almondbury police box 'Tardis' appears again after restoration

Police box in Almondbury Image copyright Stewart Gledhill
Image caption The box in Almondbury was put back in place after restoration

A Grade II-listed police box, similar to one on which Doctor Who's Tardis is based, has been returned after it was removed for restoration.

The timber box in Almondbury near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire is thought to date from the 1920-30s.

The boxes were used by officers on the beat to report to headquarters and for people to make emergency calls.

It is no longer used by the force but a West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "It's back where it's meant to be".

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District Commander Steve Cotter said he was delighted the box in Northgate was displayed in its "former glory" and "now it's back where it's meant to be".

The box dates from about the same time as the versions designed by Gilbert MacKenzie Trench, on which the Tardis is based, also began to appear in London.

It has had a chequered recent history having been listed in 1987 and has been closed several times since but was in use as late as 2014 for officers to take a break in.

The renovation, paid for by the police, meant the box was removed from the street for four months.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The box in situ in 2009
Image copyright Stewart Gledhill
Image caption The box was used to get police help when telephones were a rarity
Image copyright Stewart Gledhill
Image caption Looking less than perfect as it was fixed in a workshop

The Almondbury box had deteriorated over time and the wood had rotted in places and had been vandalised, said the force.

The refurbished box now has a concrete base to help it weather the elements, it said.

Although it is not identical to the box used in Doctor Who, the Almondbury "Tardis" does share a connection with the long-running sci-fi show.

Jodie Whittaker, who has been named as the 13th Time Lord, was born in Huddersfield.

The 36-year-old is the first female to be cast in the role and takes over from Peter Capaldi, who leaves the show at Christmas.

Image caption Jodie Whittaker, the new Time Lord, is also from Huddersfield

The Doctor and her time machine

  • Tardis stands for Time and Relative Dimension in Space
  • Throughout most of the Doctor's travels it has retained the outer appearance of a British police box
  • The BBC and the Metropolitan Police had a legal wrangle in 2002 over the trademark of the distinctive image
  • In the 1960s the box was a common sight when used on TV by William Hartnell, the first Doctor
  • And finally... of course it is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

Source: Doctor Who - The Tardis and Tardis! the real police box

Police boxes were first unveiled nationally in the 1920s but forms of police kiosk had been used since the 1890s

Most disappeared as more people had telephones in their homes.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A police box in the 1930s
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A police box in a suburban street attracts some attention c.1926
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption An officer uses a Metropolitan Police box to make a call in 1931

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