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  Heddon Street, London 2/2

February 1998.  Wide-angle view of Heddon Street. #23 at immediate right.

July 1997.  Heddon Street before the red ZINC awning was erected. #23 is next to
Panasonic Broadcast house and has the ornamental gas lamp and company plaques next to it.

March 1998.  This is a similar perspective to the original album cover, looking down Heddon Street towards the Post Office. As part of the recent street renovation the footpath and road has been repaved. An ornamental gas-lamp is restored to where the original working lamp was. The curb poles are a new addition to the street as is the street light shown.  Most of the doors on Heddon Street now have a classic wooden appearance. Next to #23 is the upmarket bar/grill called ZINC which has the red awning and outdoor table and chairs as seen in the previous photo. 

July 1997. At the end of the street at #15 is the corner pub/night club called STRAWBERRY MOONS.

July 1997.  Looking straight at #23's doorway where Bowie posed as Ziggy Stardust. No rubbish on the concrete platform today!
This address currently has two tenants. On the first floor is Smith Braithwaite (solicitors - see their reception area below)
and on the second floor are 
Fletcher Priest (architects).

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July 1997. Reception area of the law firm Smith Braithwaite, one of the current occupants of #23 Heddon Street
showing a
framed RCA picture disc of the Ziggy Stardust album (left) and a framed Ziggy Stardust album cover (right).

July 1997.  Regent Street looking towards the northern pedestrian tunnel access to Heddon Street.

March 1998.  In the northern pedestrian tunnel access to Heddon Street. 
At the far end is the phonebox.

July 1997.  Closer view of the current phonebox on Heddon Street alleyway.

July 1997. Close-up of the current K6 series phonebox on Heddon Street. If you look closely you can see evidence of freshly painted over Bowie graffiti on the wall behind the phonebox. Over the years Bowie fans have left messages on and next to the various phoneboxes that have existed here, which are then just as quickly painted over!

The Ziggy Phonebox - A quick history lesson

The red phonebox seen above on the back cover of the Ziggy Stardust album is a K2 (Kiosk 2) model which was introduced in the UK in 1927. Its predecessor had been the K1 (Kiosk 1) - a refurbished concrete version of earlier wooden box kiosks.  In 1921 leading architects in the UK had been asked to submit designs for an improved phonebox. The K2 design by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott was chosen and mainly introduced to London and several large provincial towns. It was the first kiosk of the Post Office Red variety.  Scott's original wooden prototype of the K2 survives, and is still in use as a phone box near Piccadilly Circus.

A K3 design in concrete was also built but was not durable enough although there are still a few around; one is in the grounds of Regents Park Zoo, London. The K4 in cast iron was introduced in 1930 but that too developed problems and only 50 were ever made. The K5 was experimental and not put into regular use.  The K6 (more famously known as the Jubilee box) was also designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and was introduced in 1936.  This became the standard model phonebox and appeared throughout the entire country.  It was not considered outdated until the 1960s.  Both the K2 and K6's were replaced in the 1980s by modern blue phone boxes, but these themselves have now been re-replaced by the K6's as part of the historical renovation of London.

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K2 K6

Click for full size images

Just to sum up then - the original red wooden phonebox on the Ziggy cover is a K2 model (distinguishable by six by three even window panes).  The current red wooden phonebox is a K6 Jubilee (distinguishable by eight by three odd window panes).

---This page last modified: 13 Jul 2002---

Ziggy Stardust Scarf (1973)