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.
As far as human aesthetics are concerned, beauty is bilaterally symmetrical. We choose our partners in life based on the relative wonkiness of their face roughly matching that of our own.
The same cannot be said for telegraph poles. Look at this asymmetric beauty sent in by our Waterlooville correspondent, Geoff Mawdsley (#0389). This forlorn railway pole stands along the old Fareham to Gosport line. Geoff thinks the builders of a small housing estate nearby must have mistaken it for a GPO pole and have consequently left it alone.
In its day this pole carried one of the first long distance telephone circuits from Osborne House on the Isle of Wight all the way to London for the holidaying Queen Victoria. A reasonably short mental journey then gets me to imagining this very pole having carried some of HRH’s sweet nothings back to her beloved Albert at home in the palace. Or some sterner words if they’d had a regal row perhaps.
Or just maybe when she rang Benjamin Disraeli to tell him of his cupped armpit flatulence comedy sound effect that she and Albert were “not amused!”
P riceless. "That's what these are, priceless" I said to my wife as she ironed my underpants. "That's nice dear. Have you been talking to your telegraph pole friends again?" she said, indicating I should turn over so she could iron the other side. She doesn't really get telegraph poles like I do.
We have friend-of-the-society Kevin Dodman (#0388) to thank for sending us these inestimable artefacts of the G.P.O. age - a set of archive Instructions for Post Office Engineers. Those included here date from 1937, 1960 and 1966. They explain... well, what don't they explain? Click the links below, download them, and read them over your morning cornflakes. Bran flakes are fine too, as are weetabix. Though perhaps not Coco-Pops.
Anyway, Kevin asks that we credit ownership to the 'BT Connected Earth Archive'. It seems Kevin has been busy scanning in 10,000 documents during 4 years worth of lunchtimes. You're too honest Kevin, I'd have done it in the work's time.
C1101ISS5 - Lines Overhead C1101 - Wood poles; Species, preservation treatment, distinguishing marks and other details.
C3161ISS3 - Lines Overhead C3161 - Poling; Numbering of poles.
C3201ISS1 - Lines Overhead C3201 - Poling; Erection and setting of poles.
When you click the links above and your computer looks at you all gormless like it doesn't know what to do with them, then you probably need to install the special PDF reader on your computer. Click here to kickstart that particular set of smoke and mirrors. I would untick the box about McAfee, if I were you, or you'll get christmas cards off them forever.
As has so often happened in the past, a rare event or ghostly apparition has been captured on film whilst the photographer's attention was on the intended subject.
In this case, I was taking pictures of ye olde telegraphe poles along the B5105. It was only much later when processing it for inclusion on this very website that I noticed the bizarre patch of blue lower right.
I felt sure my photograph had inadvertently captured a small piece of blue sky - that fabled phenomena which occurs when the rain stops and the clouds part or thin sufficiently such that an observer may see the sky behind.
My wife wasn't convinced. And I needed to know so contacted Simon Keeling at Weatherweb.net. He examined my image in the minutest detail and with some of the most cutting-edge forensic photographic equipment. He also re-examined the weathercasts for the day in question and re-ran the meteorological models using all the sophisticated computing power at his disposal.
His answer was clear and unambiguous. "The photograph was taken in August. In Wales." he said. "Your camera's knackered!".
I have now bought myself a Samsung ES71.
Expedition 2011 - Tiree, The Hebrides, Scotia
A week last saturday morning, the entire administration staff of the Telegraph Pole Appreciation Society boarded the society Smart CarTM and set course for the north. Destination, first Oban, then the good ship M.V. Clansman for a 4 hour bucking and swaying across to the isle of Tiree. Yes, we cleverly timed our jaunt to coincide with the fag-end of hurricane Katia thrashing its way up the west side of Britain.
Oh how we chuckled at the dictionary entry for Tiree which lists it as the sunniest place in the UK as we huddled by the wet sticks in the fireplace with the cottage roof rattling above our heads and the angry sea foam splashing against the windows.
But we did find the odd gap in the tempest to enjoy this delightful island. Herewith a list of adjectives and descriptions for you to conjure with : flat, peaceful, windy, sandy beaches, blue, interesting houses, lapwings, kite-surfers, fantastic views, seals, dramatic, peaceful - oh did I already say peaceful?
Anyway, every holiday is a busman's and a bit of telegraph pole spotting always on the cards. The flat vistas, particularly the central part of the island they call "the Reef" allows photos like that on the left; distribution poles disappearing off into perspective infinity (almost). It was this kind of scene that first attracted me to the aesthetics of poles in my weird boyhood.
The other picture, taken through globs of rain on the lens shows Tiree's tiredest telegraph pole which clearly isn't long for this world. Closer examination revealed its "do not resuscitate" notice. We spoke in hushed tones in its presence.