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Hey, here's something then. What's the shortest phone number you… - B. Henderson Asher's Moments of Mirth [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Listen in, listen Ian!

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[Jan. 12th, 2007|03:07 pm]
Listen in, listen Ian!
Hey, here's something then.

What's the shortest phone number you ever had? When I was 5, our phone
number was 5513. I remember when it changed to 215513, but before that it
was a mere 4 digits? Does anyone remember having a 3 digit number? Surely
nobody ever had a 2 digit one?
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: yiskah
2007-01-12 03:11 pm (UTC)
A four-digit number? Good lord, are you from the Olden Days? My phone number from the age of three or four was 9921078 though mind you, that was London.
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[User Picture]From: offensive_mango
2007-01-12 03:29 pm (UTC)
I had a 4-digit number as a child (3663) (though it technically had 7 digits if someone was dialling it long-distance) (but having that number I know why the Food Service people 3663 call themselves that--it spells "food" on a phone).

And we were on a party line with two neighbors! And I'm a mere snip of a girl, at 30, though admittedly I was in the sticks in the middle of Arkansas.
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[User Picture]From: rebl1969
2007-01-12 06:17 pm (UTC)
I remember John's (and therefore Kim's) grandmother still being on party line when he and I started going out waaa-ay back in 1989. I didn't even know such things still existed!

We had 7-digit numbers in college, but everyone only gave 5 numbers out, because every number in town at that time started with 32 and you only needed to know the final 5 to make the call. I remember someone had written on the wall by the phone "Papa John's Pizza 7-9111"
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[User Picture]From: ruudboy
2007-01-12 11:23 pm (UTC)
Party lines! Cool!
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[User Picture]From: rebl1969
2007-01-13 03:17 am (UTC)
It was crazy using party line. We didn't have such things in the "big city" and I was always nervous phoning from there. If I remember right, everyone had a personalized ring (one short two long etc) so you'd know which calls were for you, and you had to be careful when you picked up the phone to dial to make sure no one else was already on the line. I'm sure the best gossip was to be had on party line.

Maybe that explains Angel's hometown's powerful love of gossip, now that I think about it.
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[User Picture]From: ruudboy
2007-01-12 11:24 pm (UTC)
(but having that number I know why the Food Service people 3663 call themselves that--it spells "food" on a phone)

Top fact!
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[User Picture]From: ruudboy
2007-01-12 11:25 pm (UTC)
It's 020 7 1
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[User Picture]From: boyofbadgers
2007-01-12 03:21 pm (UTC)
We had a three digit number when I was a nipper: 403, with a dialling code of 07595.
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[User Picture]From: ruudboy
2007-01-12 11:25 pm (UTC)
Three digit number! You win!
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[User Picture]From: eyekiller
2007-01-12 03:23 pm (UTC)
4? How come? Or was it just that you were posh and said "Fitzrovia (or whatever) 5513"? Or did The North have fewer numbers? Yes that must be it cos The East had six digits.
My mum's number is still the same as it's been since they first got a phone when I were a lad (probably since before I was born), apart from the changing from 01 to 081 to 0181 to 020.
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[User Picture]From: ruudboy
2007-01-12 11:28 pm (UTC)
It was Rossendale 5513, although it was just 5513 if you were in Rossendale. I don't think Fitzrovia 5513's neighbours could have just dialled 5513 could they?

Something else I've just remembered; in those days there were local dialling codes as well as national ones. I think if you were local the dialling code for Rossendale was 9.

01 to 081 to 0181 to 020.

I like seeing shops that still have the 01 number painted above the window.
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[User Picture]From: missfrost
2007-01-13 12:07 pm (UTC)
In Manchester, and as an Old Person, I can't remember any numbers being less than SEVEN digits, in the spoken form xxx xxxx. Although obviously the last four were the original number, and the first three were the alphanumeric (or whatever it's called) "address" of the exchange being used - my gran always used to answer with "Droylsden double two four five?" The first bit of her number being 370 or DRO. A lot of central Manchester numbers are 236 = CEN, etc. It's all changed now, but I still like it when you can name an area from those first three digits.
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[User Picture]From: nja
2007-01-12 03:35 pm (UTC)
Ours was 4124.

I know someone who had a Victorian house with a lot of the original fittings, and the number on one of the old phones was 12 or 14 - a low two-digit one, in any case. I don't know if long-distance calls were even possible back then, or whether you were limited to the town exchange.
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[User Picture]From: kiss_me_quick
2007-01-12 03:40 pm (UTC)
Earliest I remember was a 5 digit number 45434.
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[User Picture]From: braisedbywolves
2007-01-12 03:45 pm (UTC)
Home home phone was 71776, now 9071776.
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[User Picture]From: nikh
2007-01-12 04:41 pm (UTC)
First number I remember was five digits, and only one digit different from a nearby doctors' surgery. This led to hilarious occasions when old ladies would phone up and tell me about the trouble with their waterworks.*

(*NB this didn't happen very often.)
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From: doughnutdiary
2007-01-12 04:50 pm (UTC)
Before they updated the exchange in the village where my folks still stay, we had 3 digit telephone numbers, or certainly could ring others within the village with 3 digit numbers, up until the mid 90s. Then all our numbers got a new 3 digit code stuck at the beginning, seperate from the new district code we were also given. So there!
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[User Picture]From: ruudboy
2007-01-12 11:31 pm (UTC)
The mid 90s! When did they get, say, running hot water then?
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[User Picture]From: carsmilesteve
2007-01-12 04:55 pm (UTC)
mypete's parents down in devon STILL have a five digit number, it looks so wrong...

isn't there a thing about humangs only being able to remember a string of numbers 9 or 10 numbers long? hence modern phone numbers being unrememberable and hence our need for mobile phone phonebooks...
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[User Picture]From: ruudboy
2007-01-12 11:31 pm (UTC)
mypete's parents down in devon STILL have a five digit number, it looks so wrong...

Cool!

Possibly, it always took me ages to remember my new mobile number in the days when you couldn't take it with you. I still don't know my home number by heart, although I think that's mainly because I haven't bothered learning it rather than because I couldn't.
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[User Picture]From: brigbother
2007-01-12 06:37 pm (UTC)
I remember in Surprise Surprise with Cilla that she always used to make a point about how many digits the phone number she was about to phone had, and got very excited if is was anything over nine digits.

This isn't strictly relevant, but does add local colour.
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[User Picture]From: ruudboy
2007-01-12 11:32 pm (UTC)
It also suggests that Cilla may be a bit simple, which I'm happy to accept.
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[User Picture]From: internetsdairy
2007-01-12 07:33 pm (UTC)
The first phone number I memorised, a friend's, was three digits. I think it was another three or four years before I actually made a call myself.
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