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020 3?

By Rob Last edited 140 months ago
020 3?
swrmlnk.jpg

It all started off so simply

Cast your mind back to the halcyon days of the 80s when men were men and phone numbers were easy to remember. Those 071 and 081 codes seem like so long ago now don't they? Like grains of sand in the eggtimer of telecommunications.

Then came the 90s and everything changed. We had to say goodbye to our old friends 071 and 081 and usher in a new era which belonged firmly to those sturdy four-digit bastions of the dialing code: 0171 and 0181.

There was a bit of grumbling, but we got used to it in the end and the world kept turning and the phones got smaller and more complicated.

Then the powers that be decided that maybe they could do with a few more numbers and the young pretender that is 020 was ushered in.

Thankfully a revolution was averted and the masses were quelled by the promise of having to dial less numbers within London. The boos soon tunred to cheers and we still have fond memories of the week-long street parties that followed.

But wait, what's this?

020...3!

Three? Three? Where did they get three from? Why not nine or six? Are they trying to tell us something? It it one of those Soduku puzzles, or maybe they're trying to tell us where the Holy Grail is buried?

And who will be privy to this random prefix? "Residential and business customers" apparently, but does geography not matter any more? Don't they understand we need to be able to judge people by their phone numbers, the delicate social strata of our capital city may well collapse.

We implore you to rise up now and stop this nonsense, for if we tolerate this...blah blah blah.

Image taken from the brilliant lightstraw site.

Last Updated 20 May 2005

Ken

If it stops thickos from giving their numbers as '0207 something' or '0208 something' by making them realise that 020 is the area code, I'm for it.

Dan

So am I showing my age by remembering 01 for London?

James Hatts

It's a shame that London's evening newspaper can't grasp that 020 is the code for London though...

Katcha

Fine, 020 is the area code, but the 7 or 8 allow us to judge people. I live in an 0207 area code - can I really be bothered to make friends with people who live all the way out in 0208? Sure it might be only a couple of stops on the tube, but once you start lowering your standards to the 0208s, you never know when the 01206s will come in...

I'm joking of course, but seriously, the 7s and 8s are standardised, they are part of the area code, even if only 020 is technically London.

John

The 7&8 haven't been part of the geographical identity since just after 020 became the London code - there are 020 8xxx numbers in central London.