Despite the gradual introduction of subscriber trunk dialling (STD) from 1958 onwards, most long-distance phone calls throughout the 1960s were made via manual GPO telephone exchanges (as here in York). They were staffed by highly trained operators who were civil servants and subject to the terms of the Official Secrets Act. The job of GPO telephonist was prestigious, and seen as a passport to well-paid employment in public services, commerce and industry.
There once was a time long before iPhones and Droids when friendly telephone operators assisted callers by providing connections, telephone numbers, help with overseas calls, and other 'customer friendly' telephone information.
Southwestern Bell Telephone switchboard (late early In the period after World War II telephones and dial service became a priority for the nation as the telephone system became the primary way to connect people for social networking.