Ten weird and wonderful facts you never knew about KCOM

Thursday 2 February 2017

Ten weird and wonderful facts you never knew about KCOM

KCOM has always been unashamedly from Hull. And that means we like to do things a little differently, just like everyone else from this vibrant and quirky city.

In its 113-year history KCOM has certainly had plenty of distinctly Hull “moments”, but did you know these ten weird and wonderful facts about us?

1) Did you know that from 1967 onwards, KCOM ran its own Pigeon Liberation Line? The info line was used by pigeon fanciers to check on the latest flight conditions for racing their birds. At its height it handled 48,000 calls a year

2) We launched the UK’s first interactive advert on our Kingston Interactive TV service in 1999. Viewers were able to choose the ending of the advert, which was for Kit Kat chocolate bars.

3) Seven of KCOM’s iconic white telephones have Grade II listed building status

4) The old Hull Telephone Department, as we used to be known, didn’t own any lorries until after the Second World War. Until then all telephone poles were transported on wheel barrows. One trip, from South Cave to Thorngumbald, took a day and a half

5) We were the first phone company in the UK to offer a “drive through” payment facility

6) Twit-twho? We once installed a plastic owl on a telegraph pole to scare away other birds after a customer complained about bird mess in her garden

7) An elderly  cleaner at our old Wincolmlee exchange used to run her own pickle factory in the corner of the room

8) Also at the Wincolmlee exchange – a seeming hotbed of oddness - the ghost of Gus Readson, a former employee, used to walk the halls. His shadowy figure could often be seen walking around the exchange wearing a trilby hat and khaki engineer’s coat.

9) Among the many information lines that KCOM used to run, for one week only in July 1968 people could ring a “Dial-a-gag” line to hear a selection of humorous stories told by Ken Dodd.

10) So far, as part of its ultrafast Lightstream broadband rollout, KCOM has installed 4,936km of cable which, if laid end to end, is larger than the diameter of the planet Mercury

More great news from KCOM