Bloody Yellow Pages!

Over Easter I was staying in a holiday cottage when a copy of Yellow Pages was deposited on the door-step.  I took it in and put it in a cupboard, where I found 3 previous copies of Yellow Pages, unopened and neatly stacked on a shelf.

When I got home from holiday a copy of Yellow Pages had been left outside the house (too big to fit through a normal letter box) unhelpfully advertising the fact that we were away!

I took it in, opened it and swapped it for the previous edition which I then threw in the bin, as the council will not accept Yellow Pages for recycling – instead it has to go into landfill!

In the days before the Internet Yellow Pages was a useful publication, but now if I need a plumber, decorator or copy of a book on Fly Fishing by J R Hartley I simply type it into Google and hey presto!  Not only do I get the details of whatever it is I want, I can also compare prices, see pictures, find out where the nearest shop is and even get directions.  For this reason I never use my copy of Yellow Pages from year to year.  All it does is sits on a shelf, gathers dust, waste millions of tons of paper, creates vast amounts of pollution through its production and distribution, fills landfill sites and, worst of all, irritates me!

Out of interest:

The first Yellow Pages directory was produced by the Hull Corporation's telephone department (now Kingston Communications) in 1954.

In 1966 The Thomson Corporation formed Thomson Yellow Pages to publish and to distribute a publication called Yellow Pages on behalf of the General Post Office (GPO).  Initially it was distributed only in the Brighton area and it was not until 1973 that it was rolled out nationally.

Thomson Yellow Pages was sold by The Thomson Corporation in 1980 at the same time as the GPO became British Telecom (BT). The Yellow Pages directory continued to be distributed to all telephone subscribers by BT while The Thomson Corporation formed Thomson Directories Ltd, and began to publish the Thomson Local directory, which would remain the Yellow Pages' only real competitor for the next two decades. 

In 1984 BT was privatised and the department producing the directory became a stand alone subsidiary of BT, named Yellow Pages. In the mid-1990s it was re-branded as Yell.

Yell was bought by venture capitalists in 2001, and in 2003 was floated on the Stock Exchange. A year later BT went into competition with Yellow Pages by adding similar content to their phone book, or the “white pages” as they are often called.


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