I've held on to that phone all my life with the idea that it might some day be fixed up to work on a modern exchange, when I could find both the money and someone able to do it for me. With my discovery online of The Old Telephone Company in Battlesbridge, Essex, the time had come.
The man in charge is the sort of expert it's a delight to meet: perhaps not so hot on the business front (or the being in his shop when he says he will front), but enthusiastic, knowledgeable and a dab hand at phone restoration. He's put in a new cable, adjusted the dial speed for our NTL connection, replaced the chipped mouthpiece with an original part fresh from its brown paper wrapper and shown me how to shine the case to a gloss with T-cut. Highly recommended for all your vintage telephonic needs.
The phone is now sitting in my room looking like a prop from a detective movie. The novelty of analogue dialling will wear off very soon now we have eleven-digit numbers, but it makes a wonderfully satisying ding when I put the receiver down and, of course, a brisk brrring! brrring! when it rings that brings joy to my soul.
So call me. Make me happy.