These much ignored pieces of rural and urban furniture finally have a website of their own.
This is not the site to visit for technical information pertaining to telegraph poles. You'll find nothing about 10KVa transformers, digital telephone networking or even so much as a single volt.
This is a website celebrating the glorious everyday mundanitude of these simple silent sentinels the world over.
|from the simple...||through the interesting...||to the hieroglyphics||and the alluring|
|click the thumbnails above to view the gallerys.||more poles...|
We don't care what the wires contain either. They all carry electricity in some way be it the sparky stuff which boils your kettle, or the thinner stuff with your voice in it when you're on the phone.
Special thanks to Gareth Spencer, part BT, part hypnotiser for the tip-off for this story. Also a phone call while I was away on my hollies in Ireland from a BBC reporter who wanted this society's anshauung*1 on the whole story.
One of the oldest telegraph poles in the UK has been saved to remain forever*2 to stand alongside the canal at Oilmills Bridge in Ebley near Stroud in Gloucestershire. This is the first time we have heard of poles actually being saved - with BT Openreach promising to continue to look after it as though it were an operational pole despite its being unused for up to thirty years. It is believed that the pole dates from 1895 and formed part of the link between Stonehouse and Stroud. I feel a bus trip coming on here.
Anyway, congratulations to the oft-maligned BT Openreach who get nowt but praise from our particular direction (WNW from there) and now that I have some names they can look forward to many, many emails from me.
I don't normally just lift photos off the internet, but I haven't been able to source one of my own. So, in a weak attempt to assauge any copyright infringement flak that may come our way, I'd just like to say what a fine and informative newspaper the Stroud News & Journal is - I wouldn't eat chips out of anything else. And reporter Saul Cooke-Black's sterling work at Stourbridge FC is sterling indeed. The full story of the above and from which mine is so obviously cribbed can be found <<right here>>.
*1 I've been playing with my thesaurus and can see me irritating a lot of people with my smug erudition as I bandy anshauung around from here on.
*2 Possibly not true: forever means infinity which is technically the limit that a function ƒ is said to approach at x = a when ƒ(x) is larger than any preassigned number for all x sufficiently near a.
Lauren off the internet sent us this photo which we immediately fast-tracked to be our Pole of the Month. Lauren neglected to provide a surname, but with an email address like "exonerd..." we can gain some insight into what makes her tick and that she is likely at home perusing these sage pages. Anyway, Lauren says:
I recently discovered this fine example of an old style TP in County Durham. It was all alone on the side of the A167, next to a cemetery.
Could anyone tell me approx. which year or decade these old style TP's were replaced with the less interesting modern ones?
Many thanks to you for this delightful pole Lauren. And I think it's fair to say that there is no specific decade when these poles were replaced with modern ones- just that as and when the pole itself eventually failed it would be replaced.
Poles like this are so rare that it should be a Listed Monument or at least have a Pole Preservation Order put on it. I feel a letter coming on.
Two amazing facts for you here tonight.
1. This post is in response to an email that is just about to celebrate its first birthday in my inbox.
2. A disproporionate number of people called John are into*1 telegraph poles.
Member #0512 and a long-time friend and correspondent to these pages and an ascendent of telegraph poles in the Oxford region sent us these photos. He says
A couple of pics of a pole I had to recover from the old Austin Morris works in Cowley Oxford. Now it's not hard to imagine the voice of Lord Nuffield himself travelling along these now defunct wires! what do you think?
I think you are right, John. And who knows what tone of Lord Nuffield's voice these wires may have carried. Altruistic endeavours, likely - or if my swift internet search*2 is anything to go by - something altogether less suited to these pages. Moving swiftly on...
To fact #2. 29 members of this prestigious society have the name John. I'm not really sure how many members we actually have as I was a bit random at dishing out numbers at the start but I've always been consecutive and we're now up to #0743 which was issued yesterday. So, for argument's sake, let's say 700. That's 4% of TPAS members are called John. Yet when I come to look at a graph of the number of people called John in the general public I find I can't understand it, at all, and so this whole point I was going to make - and it was really going to be a big point, sort of peters out in the hope that you won't read this far anyway. Amazing what you find out on the internet. Here's John's lovely photos.