Oooh, snigger, tee hee

We’ve all heard of desirable postcodes, but for locals in Bath there’s another must-have status symbol – the city’s dialling code.
Owners of new £865,000 townhouses in the city were furious to find that, rather than the Bath 01225 code, they had been given 01761 phone numbers.


Owners, who moved in last year, have also contacted the communications ombudsman after being given the dialling codes for nearby Radstock and Midsomer Norton.

It’s not actually Radstock, it’s Temple Cloud, which sounds rather better really.

Still could be worse, telephone codes could go down to a more granular level and they could have ended up with a Twerton code. And that would be really cruel, because that’s where those nicely expensive houses are.

This will only make sense to a Bathonian of course….you may or may not want to share your dialling code with Chew Magna but you definitely, definitively, do not want it to identify you as being in Twerton.

35 comments on “Oooh, snigger, tee hee

  1. I remember reading about similar wailing about 15 years ago when people getting new landlines in Manhattan weren’t getting the prestigious 212 area code. The horrors.

    And people get picky about postcodes too. There was the infamous Dublin 6 shenanigans back in the early 80s. Dublin 6 was too big, so the Post Office decided to move a big chunk of it to Dublin 24. Of course that meant that residents in nice places like Terenure would get a postcode that was also used by some less luxurious areas like Tallaght. The patricians revolted, stating that they would continue to use the incorrect Dublin 6 code. So the Post Office relented, and instead created a standalone Dublin 6W post code instead (which at the time was the only non-numeric post code in Dublin, and which persisted until we got our nice shiny new Eircodes 2 years back).

  2. South of the river? *sniff* I don’t think so. Honestly darling, there’s even a LIDL there now

  3. I visited Bath for the first time 2 years ago. My impression was that it was a tiny provincial shit hole with only about 200 yards of attractive street facades, the backs of the famous houses looking like slum dwellings. I imagine the outskirts, it’s not big enough to have suburbs, resemble bus stations with people puking up everywhere

  4. ” I imagine the outskirts, it’s not big enough to have suburbs, resemble bus stations with people puking up everywhere”

    No, that’s the centre of town on a Fri and Sat night.

  5. @Diogenes
    “I visited Bath for the first time 2 years ago. My impression was that it was a tiny provincial shit hole with only about 200 yards of attractive street facades, the backs of the famous houses looking like slum dwellings. I imagine the outskirts, it’s not big enough to have suburbs, resemble bus stations with people puking up everywhere”
    About right, actually Bath stone is not that nice looking material – if you compare Georgian houses in Bath with Regent’s Park or South Kensington they don’t look that nice.
    But for people who have never been to these places, seen them on TV etc Bath Georgian townhouses look ok.

  6. Diogenes

    Yup, that’s Twerton. (more or less).

    Bath does have some nicer areas, but you have to look. And yes, the Council have done their darnest to f**k the place over since the 60’s.

    Tim or I could probably show you enough to improve your vision slightly.

  7. Postcodes are slightly different, as don’t they affect things like car and house insurance? I read once that you couldn’t get house contents insurance if you had a Toxteth postcode, for example.

    Don’t know if this is true though.

  8. I used to work for the local cable TV company in Glasgow. They couldnt give away the telephone service in Bearsden because that would involve sacrificing the oh so precious ‘951’ dialling code.

  9. The 01225 code also covers Trowbridge.
    Not extending to the yokels in Westbury though.

  10. Windsor has a Slough post code, which I’m sure delights the more genteel folk south of the M4.

  11. Landlines are so 20th century. A silly expense today.

    I have a landline (although there’s nothing plugged into it) simply to get a better deal on cable TV and broadband.

  12. I once had a colleague who was, I think, going slowly mad.

    He once berated me for having been assigned by our employer an email address that began, as it were, abc1, whereas he had had to make do with xyz14.

    There’s nowt so queer as lunatics.

  13. People in the UK – *rich people in the UK* – still have landlines?

    Is access to an obsolete phone system now a Veblen Good?

  14. I remember reading about similar wailing about 15 years ago when people getting new landlines in Manhattan weren’t getting the prestigious 212 area code.

    There was a whole Seinfeld episode on it: Elaine got a new number and when she handed it to guys she wanted to date they’d look at it and say “Where the hell is this? No thanks!” and walk off. It was very funny.

  15. Leo T,

    There is a whole Seinfeld episode where Elaine gets a new number with a 646 area code, and a prospective date is scared off by her non-local number.

    Ultimately it’s snobbery about old money vs new money: a later area code implies you’re new to the neighbourhood.

  16. I’m a Yorkshireman living in happy exile in Suffolk (and Spain), and I’d say Bath is still one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

  17. A similar thing vexes the people of Ilkley. They have the desirable (for the West Riding) LS postcode, their own 01943 dialling code…

    Unfortunately for their sense of what is right and proper for “The Gateway to the Dales”, their services are provided by the distinctly unsexy Bradford Metropolitan District Council.

    Who, to be fair as a born and bred Bradfordian, ARE f*ck*ng useless!

  18. Pity the ‘poor’ inhabitants of Ascot and Eton, who have to put up with a Slough postal code (Eton have an 01753 dialling code, too). Not for nothing is Eton College known as Slough Comprehensive …

  19. @Tim W

    …but you definitely, definitively, do not want it to identify you as being in Twerton

    £845K for a newbuild beside that? Is the newbuild a gated community?

    Twerton image

    On the plus side (for some): easy access to drugs and “fell of back of lorry” items.

  20. That’s the other end of it. These houses are on the old Stothert and Pitt site (or close by) on the river. Been by the place and no, wouldn’t myself.

  21. Theo, Bath and beauty, if you exclude one view of the Crescent, are not compatible. The Abbey is nice. But just look at the crescent from behind. That is slum work of the shoddiest kind. BIS would not want to claim that. It makes Downing and Harley Street look well built

  22. Some years ago my Bro-in-law worked for an outfit that was an adjunct to the television and advertising industry. They moved to a flash, spacious, new office block that was just outside the North Circular, and thus had an 0181- phone number. They actually lost quite a few staff, whose reason for leaving was that they “couldn’t work possibly for a company that didn’t have a central-London phone number”!!

  23. I see the theme is that it is reasonable for bureaucracy to prevail over popular will .

  24. Area codes are an anachronism. It would cost a bit more but there’s no technical reason why people couldn’t choose their own numbers, within reason. The first couple of digits ar needed for showing service e.g. 0800 for free calls.

    Telephone numbers are a scarce resource so they could even be traded and golden numbers auctioned.

  25. “Area codes are an anachronism. It would cost a bit more but there’s no technical reason why people couldn’t choose their own numbers, within reason.”

    Each central office would have to have computing power and data storage to accommodate such, plus perpetual updating of data. There’s your technical reason.

  26. “Area codes are an anachronism. It would cost a bit more but there’s no technical reason why people couldn’t choose their own numbers, within reason.”

    After further review . . .

    I agree with you now. I was thinking in terms of traditional telephony technology. It occurred to me this morning that instead they could use a hybrid technology, coupling internet and telephony, or reworking telephony to internet tech.

    Might be expensive to implement, but it is technically feasible. Maybe it’s time to do away with the old switching based system.

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