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Letter to


I hadn't heard from the elusive Jerry Bilt for a while. After an absence of several months, he contacted me to let me know that he had finally made it home from the Telephone Collectors Show at Nowra (in 1995). He had apparently decided to look for kangaroos in the "Kangaroo Valley" on his way home and, not having found any, kept driving until he saw one. His trip finally terminated somewhere on the "Nullarbor Plain" - Editor.

Dear Jerry,

I hope you can help me. I have been trying, without success I might add, to locate a back board for my twin box telephone. I am fairly handy around the workshop and I was hoping you could point me in the right direction so that I could "knock" one up myself.



Dear Backboard,

You are certainly in luck my friend as I have perfected the ideal replacement part. Those members that attended the show in Nowra have already had the opportunity to peruse the finished article. It indeen sparked a vigorous debate, albeit somewhat heated.

Many back boards were removed as the exchanges were converted to Central Battery and, like my hair, lost in the ravages of time. It was for this reason that I developed this home built backboard.

You may not be aware that I am considered something of a legend in my neighbourhood as a bit of a conservationist. I am also renowned for several other things but the allegations have never been proven. Because I enjoy the challenge of recycling I have used a five foot fence paling as the basis for the new backboard. I have included some illustrations for you to make this "fix-up" just a tad easier to follow.

First of all you will need to obtain a used fence paling. I just used one off the back fence. A neighbour's fence will also do nicely, but you will have to be quick to avoid the Rottweiler, Pit Bull Terrier or whatever.

Step one: Mark your measurements as shown in Fig. 1. Remember to be accurate. As my father used to say "if a job is worth doing it is worth doing as quickly as possible so that you can get back to the sports pages".

Step two: Cut along the dotted lines you have drawn as shown in Fig. 2. Easy isn't it?

Step three: Assemble the four pieces of timber as in Fig. 3 and nail as shown at all four corners.

Step four: Attach your top box and battery box as shown in Fig. 4. If you are also missing the battery box, remember one can be readily fabricated from a disused fruit box.

Well, there you have it. A thing of beauty and a joy forever. Don't forget to "creosote" the whole job and, when dry, apply two coats of fence stain.

Must go now,


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