In the late 1970s, during the days before mobile phones, the electronic band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark used this unassuming phone box as a makeshift office. The band members would regularly meet up here to phone their manager and wait around for hours at a time for their manager to call them back with news about gigs and record labels.
The band later immortalized the phone in their second single “Red Frame/White Light,” which included the box’s phone number, 632 3003, as a major part of the lyrics. To this day, it is still likely the highest charting song entirely about a public phone box.
The booth itself quickly gained a cult following, with fans phoning the number only to get confused locals picking up. Fans of the band still make pilgrimages to England to visit the bright red box.
In 2017, British Telecoms removed the box because it had almost completely fallen out of use. But OMD fans would not stand for this. They petitioned for the box’s return, as it had become a monument to British electronic music. Fortunately, the booth was returned two months later, and has since been given a makeover by John Petch, the band’s cover artist.
Know Before You Go
It is located on the junction of Greenwood road and Birkenhead road in Meols, opposite the railway pub