Oxford’s Area Code at OGN 57

Ever wondered why Oxford’s area code is 01865? The story is more-complicated than you’d think.

Modern desk telephone with an 01865 number (masked) and a keypad with letters on the buttons, 2=ABC through 9=WXYZ, with superimposed question marks between the two.
As a child, I was told that city STD codes were usually associated to the letters that appear on some telephones… but that wouldn’t make any sense for Oxford’s code!

I’ll share the story on my blog, of course. But before then, I’ll be telling it from the stage of the Jericho Tavern at 21:15 on Wednesday 17 April as my third(?) appearance at Oxford Geek Nights! So if you’re interested in learning about some of the quirks of UK telephone numbering history, I can guarantee that this party’s the only one to be at that Wednesday night!

Not your jam? That’s okay: there’s plenty of more-talented people than I who’ll be speaking, about subjects as diverse as quantum computing with QATboxen, bringing your D&D experience to stakeholder management (!), video games without screens, learnings from the Horizon scandal, and whatever Freyja Domville means by The Unreasonable Effectiveness of the Scientific Method (but I’m seriously excited by that title).

Oxford Geek Night logo

Anyway: I hope you’ll be coming along to Oxford Geek Nights 57 next month, if not to hear me witter on about the fossils in our telecommunications networks then to enjoy a beer and hear from the amazing speakers I’ll be sharing the stage with. The event’s always a blast, and I’m looking forward to seeing you there!



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  1. Matt Reynolds Matt Reynolds says:

    You able to post about this now?

    1. Dan Q Dan Q says:

      Thanks for the reminder @Matt Reynolds. I want to do a blog & vlog post version of my Geek Night talk, perhaps just a little longer (there were so many extra things I wanted to talk about!), but right now I’m setting off to Amsterdam for a week so I don’t know when I’ll find time to do it! Perhaps I’ll write and rehearse the script for the vlog version it while I’m on the train to/from the Netherlands, so I’m in a better place to shoot it when I get back (my props will be staying at home).

  2. Joseph Joseph says:

    How are you getting on with this, sir? My mum worked telephone exchange and I’ve been telling her I’ll get this to her. 😃

    I thought it was great at OGN.

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