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Recorded information services offered by BT

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  • Arran
    replied
    Originally posted by Richard1978
    I imagine by the time computerised exchanges & playout systems came along this was possible, but not with the earlier ones.
    Strowger telephone exchanges had numerous counting and timing circuits. It wouldn't be too difficult to create a circuit that counted the pulses on a uniselector that were generated whenever a loop of tape has completed its cycle. After a certain number of pulses have been counted, the circuit disconnects the call.

    There were also slow acting relays that worked using a small heating element that would activate after about 5 minutes.

    Leave a comment:


  • George 1978
    replied
    Originally posted by Arran View Post

    The sicker side of Thatcherite capitalism. A bit like the Deregulation of the Buses Act 1986 and the Housing Act 1988.

    One problem with premium rate numbers is that they coud be reused for completely different services in a short space of time. I can remember a time when a kid from my primary school phoned a premium rate number for some service about wildlife and the number had been reused for an erotic adult service. Her mother was absolutely horrified and wrote a letter of complaint to Oftel about it.
    I am not going to go into the whys and wherefores, but all I am saying is that I don't agree with a telephone number which could be local for all we know, but would cost the same as calling Australia. I believe in transparency.

    Leave a comment:


  • Arran
    replied
    Originally posted by Richard1978
    Another problem was that many services played in a loop, so if you didn't hang up properly it would keep playing and run up a big bill!
    There could have been a timeout mechanism that disconnects the call after the tape has played a certain number of times, but I will have to further investigate this.

    Leave a comment:


  • Arran
    replied
    A few more services that were available in 1984:

    Capital Radioline 01 246 8024

    Challenge Line – Brain teasers (answers next day) 01 246 8050

    Eventline - Motor Sport information 01 246 8066

    Golden Hitline – Hits from the 60s and 70s 01 246 8044

    Newsline 01 246 8080

    Spaceline – Space mission information 01 246 8055

    They probably only lasted a few years.

    I'm wondering how many recorded information services on 246 were available after 071 / 081 replaced 01 in 1990.

    Leave a comment:


  • Arran
    replied
    Originally posted by George 1978 View Post
    It made me wonder why on earth Premium Rate telephone services were introduced in this country in the first place when we had this sort of stuff originally - if it ain't broke...
    The sicker side of Thatcherite capitalism. A bit like the Deregulation of the Buses Act 1986 and the Housing Act 1988.

    One problem with premium rate numbers is that they coud be reused for completely different services in a short space of time. I can remember a time when a kid from my primary school phoned a premium rate number for some service about wildlife and the number had been reused for an erotic adult service. Her mother was absolutely horrified and wrote a letter of complaint to Oftel about it.

    Leave a comment:


  • George 1978
    replied
    It made me wonder why on earth Premium Rate telephone services were introduced in this country in the first place when we had this sort of stuff originally - if it ain't broke...

    I bet that the regulator at the time was the same as the ones for general telephone services and so unnecessarily didn't have a separate one.

    Leave a comment:


  • Arran
    replied
    Most recorded information services in London had the number 01 246 80xx. 246 was the replacement number for ASK after London changed to all figure numbers.

    Here are technical details how the services were provided

    http://www.lightstraw.co.uk/ate/main/ris/index.html

    Leave a comment:


  • Arran
    replied
    Recorded information services from the 1982 dialling code book for London.

    Children's London 246 8007

    Cricketline – Available during the cricket season in England 154

    Discline 160

    Financial Times Cityline 246 8026

    Leisureline – For a daily selection of the main events and places of interest in and around:

    London 246 8041

    London – in French 246 8043

    London – in German 246 8045

    Edinburgh (1 May to 30 September) 031 246 8041

    Chester 0244 8041

    Puffin Storyline (from 6pm each night) 246 8000

    Raceline – Horse racing results and information available 24 hours a day during most meetings 168

    Recipeline – For recipe of the day 246 8071

    Skiing Information (1 December to 30 April) Skiing conditions at the principal Scottish ski centres 031 246 8031

    Sportsline – Separate publicity will be given when service operates 246 8020

    Starline – Daily Horoscope 246 8000

    Timeline – For the speaking clock 123

    Traveline – Travel information for the following areas:

    Birmingham 021 246 8021

    Bristol 0272 8021

    London 246 8021

    Manchester and Liverpool 0161 246 8021

    Northern England 0632 8021

    Northern Ireland 0232 8021

    Scotland 031 246 8021

    South and West Yorkshire 0532 8021

    South Wales 0222 8021

    National Summaries

    Rail (Inter-city & London) 246 8030

    Road (Motorway & major trunk roads) 246 8031

    Sea 246 8032

    Air 246 8033

    Weatherline

    Anglesey & N. Wales Coast 061 246 8093

    Bedford area (40 mile radius) 246 8099

    Birmingham and Warwickshire 021 246 8091

    Devon and Cornwall 0752 8091

    Dorset and Hampshire Coast 0703 8091

    E. Midlands 0602 8091

    Edinburgh and Lothian 031 246 8091

    Essex and N. Kent coast 246 8096

    Glamorgan and Gwent 0222 8091

    Glasgow area 041 246 8091

    Grampian and Aberdeen 0224 8091

    Lincolnshire and Humberside 0522 8091

    London area 246 8091

    Norfolk and Suffolk 0473 8091

    N.E. England incl. N. Yorkshire 0632 8091

    N.W. England 061 246 8091

    N. Ireland 0232 8091

    Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire 246 8090

    Somerset and Avon 0272 8091

    S.W. Midlands 0452 8091

    S. Yorkshire and the Peak District 0742 8091

    Sussex and S. Kent coast 246 8097

    W. Yorkshire 0532 8091

    For personal advice call the Meteorological Office 836 4311

    W.H. Smith Albumline – Tracks from L.P. Records 246 8008

    Woolworth Gardenline – Gardening Information 246 8070

    Note that several services have changed their names in order to make them sound more trendy.

    Raceline is also available on 246 8060.

    Leave a comment:


  • Semi42
    replied
    I remember going to the phone box and listening to dial a disc, it was standard rate , the 2p got you the standard time usually just less than the full song, it was played on a loop so you’d usually be connected halfway through the record

    Leave a comment:


  • George 1978
    replied
    Of course, 8091 is an anagram of 0891 - a Premium Rate code used many years later. I am surprised that they were standard rate to be honest - I assume that there were no smutty chat lines in existence back in 1981, although only five years later they were advertising all over the place in the Sunday tabloids.

    I bet Club Call was for Division 1 (now Premiership) clubs such as Man Utd.

    I assumed that 0800 only started in around 1986 as before that, most advertising invited us to "dial 100 and ask for Freephone (name of company)".

    Leave a comment:


  • Arran
    replied
    The numbers, and even services, varied slightly from place to place. The services with 80xx numbers were available from main telephone exchanges, so a dialling code was required to reach them from smaller telephone exchanges with a different STD code.

    The 1981 dialling code book for Haywards Heath also includes:

    Leisureline – Sport and entertainment 91 8045

    Seagull Line – Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club, latest news and information 91 8049

    Seastate – Information for Anglers, Bathers, Sailors and Watersports 91 8046

    Tele-Radio – Radio Brighton 91 8069

    Services are provided from Brighton telephone exchange except those listed with an STD code. 91 was the local dialling code for Brighton from Haywards Heath. These services could be accessed nationally using the STD code for Brighton even if they weren't published in local dialling code books, for example, 0273 8049 for Seagull Line.

    The Weather Forecast for London is 01 246 8091 and for Sussex Coast is 91 8091. Time is 91 8081.

    Leave a comment:


  • Arran
    replied
    Originally posted by George 1978 View Post
    Were a lot of these numbers Premium Rate? - I thought that Premium Rate numbers were only introduced in around 1986-1987, but they feel "Premium Rate" in nature to me with regards to the "bedtime stories" and the weather reports ones.

    And for reasons that I won't go into on here, I hate any Premium Rate telephone number so much!
    I checked the dialling code book and calls were standard rate. Those without a dialling code were local rate; 01 numbers a (not local but under 56km) rate; 031 numbers b (over 56km) rate.


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  • George 1978
    replied
    Were a lot of these numbers Premium Rate? - I thought that Premium Rate numbers were only introduced in around 1986-1987, but they feel "Premium Rate" in nature to me with regards to the "bedtime stories" and the weather reports ones.

    And for reasons that I won't go into on here, I hate any Premium Rate telephone number so much!

    Leave a comment:


  • Arran
    started a topic Recorded information services offered by BT

    Recorded information services offered by BT

    The telephone numbers for various recorded information services offered by BT in 1981. Taken from the dialling code book for Guildford.

    Bedtime Stories (from 6pm each night) 8071

    Cricket (8am to 7pm, not Sundays, during Test Matches played in England and certain other matches) 16

    Dial a Disc (During certain cricket matches service will be restricted from Monday to Saturday 7pm to 8am) 16

    Financial Times Index and Business News Summary 01 246 8026

    Gardening Information (Saturday and Sunday 8am to 6pm) 8071

    Motoring Information – The information given covers roads within 50 miles of each of the following centres:

    Belfast 0232 8021

    Birmingham 0203 8021

    Bristol 0793 8021

    Cardiff 0222 8021

    Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield and Doncaster 0742 8021

    London 8021

    Manchester and Liverpool 0161 246 8021

    Newcastle and Middlesbrough 0642 8021

    Scotland (whole) 031 246 8021

    Southampton 0705 8021

    Race Line – Details of principal horse race meetings plus up to date results service 8060

    Recipe (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm) 8071

    Skiing Information (1 December to 30 April) Skiing conditions at the principal Scottish ski centres 031 246 8031

    Time 8081

    Weather Forecast

    Bedford area (40 mile radius) 01 246 8099

    Belfast area 0232 8091

    Birmingham area 0203 8091

    Bristol area (including Weston-super-Mare) 0793 8091

    Cardiff area 0222 8091

    Devon and Cornwall 0392 8091

    Edinburgh area 031 246 8091

    Essex coast 01 246 8096

    Glasgow area 041 246 8091

    Kent coast 01 246 8098

    Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Cheshire 061 246 8091

    Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield area 0484 8091

    London area 8091

    Norfolk and Suffolk 0473 8091

    N.E. England 0642 8091

    N. Lincolnshire, Retford and S. Humberside 0522 8091

    N. Wales coast from Conwy to Chester 0244 8091

    Notts, Leicester and Derby area 0533 8091

    Sheffield area (20 mile radius) 0742 8091

    S. Hampshire and Isle of Wight (including the coastal area between Poole Harbour and Chichester) 0705 8091

    S.W. Midlands 0242 8091

    Sussex coast 01 246 8097

    Thames Valley 01 246 8090

    What's on – For a daily selection of the main events and places of interest in and around:

    London 8041

    London – in French 01 246 8043

    London – in German 01 246 8045

    Edinburgh (1 May to 30 September) 031 246 8041
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