My GPO Family: Trilogy Edition
My GPO in London
My GPO Family of books, exploring communications history...

Andrew Emmerson (one-time Technical Press Officer with British Telecom) remarks: "John paints an engaging picture of telecommunications, all written in a highly readable language."

Book cover: My GPO in London:Trilogy Edition (part two).

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My GPO Family of books

My GPO Family: Supplied for the Public Service
The full 2017 edition.

My GPO Family: Trilogy Edition
The abridged (2018) version forming the first part of the new series.

My GPO in London: Trilogy Edition * Out now! *
The second part in the series (2019) with over 100 black and white photos.

GPO in London, looks at key buildings and how the organisation evolved. It's got studies of the Speaking Clock; Rugby Radio; the little-known Chronopher which disseminated GMT across the UK; the short-lived Blackfriars Power Station; the Roman Wall under the King Edward Building; How Mail Rail turned into the new Postal Museum; the construction of the PO Tower revolving platform... and lots more besides!

London's Trunks Tolls and Telex
Continuing part two (2020)

My GPO Legacy:Trilogy Edition
The third part in the series (2021)

Buy a Copy (via PayPal or your Card) UK
My GPO Family:Supplied for the Public Service My GPO Family: Trilogy Edition (Part one) My GPO in London: Trilogy Edition (Part two) London's Trunks Toll and Telex My GPO Legacy: Trilogy Edition (Part three)  
£13.95 inc UK Postage £10.55 inc UK Postage £11.99 inc UK Postage      
Full version
Abridged version Full version  
A5 428 pages A5 370 pages A5 368 pages Due 2020 Due Later
In stock In stock In stock      
These two books are the same story in different versions.  

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Buy a Copy Overseas

For a copy outside the UK, purchase via


A retrospective snapshot of living in the Public Service of the GPO and BT...

My GPO Family is a perfect-bound paperback telling the story of growing up, living and working in the Public Service of the GPO and BT between 1965 and 2016. Packed with an eclectic mix of personal stories, recollections, poems and thoughts of how the General Post Office evolved into the communication companies which serve us today. Visits and verbatim reports of the emerging heritage scene capture the essence of bygone days in a comprehensive, but easy to understand format. Although written primarily for those who worked in the telecommunication and clerical side of the business, during the 20th century, any GPO family will be able to relate to the ethos of the era. With more than 30 (black and white) illustrations/photographs, this book will take you on a journey back to a time when people proudly worked in Public Service.

Feedback about My GPO Family (2017)

Simon C: "Thought I would let you know that I have finished reading your book. Took a few evenings and greatly enjoyed it."

Karen H: "I have been dipping in and out of your book; goodness you have popped a lot of thought into it!"

Andy E: "Even more impressed with your book now that I have read it through!"

Chris H: "I must say that I'm very impressed with your ability to recollect details from the start of your career."

Adam: "Well done for taking the time to help relive the awesome past."

Post Office Vehicle Club: "This book is recommended for anybody with a wider interest in telephone operations."

Dave F: "Just wanted to say what a delight it has been to read your book. So many memories revived; even your descriptions of the standard civil service office furniture and the Advice Note procedure were so evocative."

Barrie S: "Having read your book cover-to-cover, it is now with my Radio Amateur friend who worked in the Ministry of Works and PSA. It will then go to my neighbour, whose father was in BT all his life."

Colour Photos [Books have black and white photos, and may vary from those shown here)

Post Office Telephones Lineman's Van The author at BT Tower The author at Southend AMC An Openreach van  
Post Office Telephones The author at BT Tower The author at Southend AMC An Openreach van  

Seven Ages of Man totem pole at Baynard House At first the infant... Mobile Exchanges Travelling Post Office  
Seven Ages of Man At first the infant... Mobile Exchanges Travelling Post Office  

Keybridge House BT Archives MOH computers Faraday Building plaque  
Keybridge House BT Archives MOH computers Faraday Building plaque  

Dorothy Annan Murals British Telecom Manchester ERNIE  
Dorothy Annan murals BT Manchester ERNIE

BT Tower Vernon mans the Board Bletchley Park Mansion  
BT Tower Vernon mans the Board Bletchley Park Mansion

A typical photobook example
Quality printed photobooks with images of equipment and architecture taken between 1999 and 2017. Example of brown cover booklets.
There are currently 5 (approx A5 size) photobooks in the series:
Photobook 1: London
1: London
21 pages and more than 50 colour photographs.

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Photobook 2: Faraday
2: Faraday Building
31 pages and more than 80 colour photographs.

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Photobook 3: Keybridge
3: Keybridge House
27 pages and more than 50 colour photographs.

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Photobook 4: Mondial
4: Mondial House
21 pages and more than 30 colour photographs.

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Photobook 5: International Trunks
5: International Trunks
A composite book exploring Faraday/Mondial/Keybridge.
71 pages and more than 140 colour photographs.

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September 2018 new A5 photobooks:

Mail Rail at Mount Pleasant
MGPOLnd1: Mail Rail at Mount Pleasant
The Post Office Railway Experience.
28 pages and 30 colour photographs.

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Roman Wall at Merrill Lynch
MGPOLnd2: Roman Wall at Merrill Lynch
A short history of the London Wall at the site of the King Edward Building and Merrill Lynch HQ.
22 pages and 20 colour photographs.

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Dorothy Annan Murals
MGPOLnd3: Dorothy Annan Murals
Photos of the telecommunications murals before and after restoration, at Fleet Building and Barbican estate.
28 pages and 29 colour photographs.

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Forthcoming Books

London's Trunks, Tolls and Telex (2020)

"The gradual roll-out of Subscriber Trunk Dialling (STD) over 20 years (1959 to 1979) saw the most ambitious building plan across London as Trunk Units, and Sector Switching Centres (SSCs) needed vast new spaces in which to house the (mostly analogue) automatic switching equipment. This was a time-period when major switching centres still required a large operator presence for manually-connected calls too! Simultaneously, explosive growth of International Subscriber Dialling (ISD) also demanded innovative ways of handling increasing call traffic to interface with overseas networks.

None of this was simple, because new exchange buildings (generally) had to be close to the cable networks and originating/terminating traffic which they served. Even then, the crowded, densely-packed sites in London proved a challenge to the architects and town planners alike. Network, Routing, and Transmission plans of the 1930s had to be updated to serve a modern telephone service, fit for the hip, happening new-age world of the 1960s and beyond!"

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