The R/T

The Telephone Exchange

In the days of the Telephone Exchange operators provided a very direct and personal service – far more than just connecting lines, they were seen as a general point of information for the entire Stanley community.

They would often be called to answer questions ranging from “When is this power cut going to end?” to “What is the best way to make gravy?” It was also not unusual for the operator to be able to tell a caller that the person they were trying to contact was out shopping or visiting.

Older members of the community would sometimes ring for a chat when they were lonely. If it was quiet, the operators were happy to listen and provide companionship when it was needed.

The direct-dial system may have streamlined and improved communications in many ways, but a special part of the community disappeared when the Exchange closed for the last time.

Moving the R/T

Dedicated to the memory of Mr Bill Roberts

The R/T & Telephone Exchange

Kindly sponsored by

The government-operated radio-telephone service was started in 1950 by Governor Sir Miles Clifford and connected some 40 farms in Camp.  Each settlement received a radio set powered by 12 volt batteries, charged by a wind generator.

Operating a day-time service, five days a week (and providing a listening service out-of-hours), the R/T provided a vital link between the farming community and the town.

The historic heart of Stanley