April 3rd, 2016

when did telephones in pubs become common

Setting: rural England, first or second world war

My story revolves around a telephone call made from a country pub. I'd like for it to be set during WWI, but I can't figure out if it would be plausible for a pub circa 1916-1917 to have a telephone!

My main character goes to the pub because it's the only semi-private place he can make a phone call in the village. I feel like if I set it during WWII, it would be more plausible that the pub would have a telephone, but perhaps less plausible that the boarding house where he lives wouldn't have one. Thoughts?

I've read various articles on the history of the telephone in Britain, but I've been having trouble finding information about telephones in private businesses, plus I don't know how long it would have taken for telephones to trickle out to rural communities.