Welcome to Day 21 of “28 Photos Later”.
Today’s photo entitled “PAD 4207” comes from Portsea Mews, near Marble Arch. The business advertised on this sign offers repairs and servicing for cars.
I don’t have a car in London, so why did the sign catch my eye? It was the phone number – PAD 4207. PAD stands for PADdington – the local telephone exchange. The sign must have been hung before 1970, because that’s when letters disappeared from London phone numbers. At that time PAD became 723.
Look at a mobile phone keypad and you can see how the numbers and letters correspond. The number 2 can represent A, B or C; 3 is D, E or F, etc, so PAD = 723.
Discovering this just made me happy because you can see the old letters buried in the (much longer) modern phone numbers. My own number was in the WELbeck exchange, so it still contains 935. Westminster Abbey’s phone number still contains 222 from the ABBey exchange. The Dorchester Hotel in MAYfair still has 629 in its phone number.