Redrawing the past…How I designed a prototype for the internet. Yes, really.

When I was 11, just before I left the junior school to go to the daunting comprehensive down the road, I saw a competition ran by the GPO (GeneralPost Office), which then owned the phone lines. This was just before it became BT obviously. The competition was to design a telecommunications device for the future…
I thought video phones were old hat and there would be loads of kids going for the easy answer.

Telecomms of the future by Paul Clayton - a redrawing from 1981

A redrawing of my winning design, BT didn't keep the original, apparently.

The thinking hat came out, and the result is very much like the picture you see here. A few months later I had a phone call telling me I won the prize for my age group in the North East. The glorious prize wasn’t just the £45 (a lot of money then), but the trip to the phone exchange, where the kindly technician plied us with Busby the bird bookmarks and such sundries. The exchange won’t be like it was, clicking and clacking at a fair volume…

I recently thought I should redraw the image as it is a bit of interesting history for me, especially as I have been drawn to the interwebs for years…As a point of historical interest, you can see the video game cabinet type housing, and for some the background is curved…