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.
W hat an amazing week it's been here at Telegraph Pole Towers. Out of the blue I received an email from Simon Carter, the curator of an art gallery, presumably in Salisbury, Wilts. His email contained a lost telegraphic masterpiece by Tamsin Pastelle and in its original JPEG form too. He also sent us the following descriptive text:
This still-life in chalks by Tamsin Pastelle, entitled 'Insulators 1', formed the central panel of a Triptych and is thought to have graced the South Entrance of the B.T. Chapel of Remembrance in Salisbury, Wiltshire.
Believed originally to have spent her formative years in the Southern Heavy Water Region of Britain, she was most active in the Reclamation Period. She discovered her passion for Telegraphics when annotating Satellites through a pin-hole; but for years had to work undetected for fear of her public persona, as resident floral artist (watercolours) at the tiny village of Christmas-in-the-cotswolds, being publicly trashed. Had she not taken refuge 'neath a Rural Transformer on that day of providence...
Extract taken from art notes compiled for the Tamsin Pastelle Memorial Gallery of Street Furniture.
What a find!. And it gets spookier. My late* father always claimed that he had featured in one of Ms Pastelle’s paintings. From his days up a pole as a GPO engineer. We never believed him of course – he made a lot of claims. He was supposed to have been the inspiration for horned cherub #2 in Boticelli’s Mars and Venus. We never saw this telegraph pole study of which he spoke, so we've asked Mr Carter if maybe he could help us locate it.
* my father not dead yet, just rubbish at being on time.
I came upon this rather tired looking pole in an equally tired street in Fairbourne, Gwynedd. But according to the notice pinned to it, this pole is part of the Openreach Pole Inspection Project.
That all sounds very exciting and got me to speculate about the logistics and organisation of such a project. I wonder do a delegation of Openreach's be-suited, be-spectacled executives gather at a conference centre at some place like Bristol? Appointing project managers, approving budgets, and discussing contingency plans. Whiteboards, powerpoint and balderdash?
And afterwards, does each delegate get to keep their name badge as well as a goody bag of project pencil, notepad and fact-sheet sticker packs? Then it's off home to regale their respective spouses with stories of tea from a pump flask, how Derek couldn't work the telephone conference gadget, and how the biscuits were probably Marks & Spencers, but had gone soft because they were put out too early.
Red category 'D' pole means it's buggered by the way.
And I don't mean in a lonely-hearts sort of way...
Janice Edwards has written to us :
I know absolutely nothing about telegraph poles but I have just bought a postcard of a familiar place and one of the main features in it is the telegraph poles. I am trying to date the photo and wandered if there were any distinguishing aspects of the telegraph poles that might help.
The photo is of Drayton Park Road, Lowick which is in Northamptonshire. The railway crossing is narrow gauge, supplying iron ore to a nearby works, I am told.
If any of our esteemed readers can help Janice, please drop me a line. Click the image to see it in full glory.
Answers in so far :
Me, I reckon about 1930.
Tom from Donegal suggests "After the War of the Roses, but before the advent of Mobile phones"
Simon H off the internet thinks around the 1920s
Still waiting to hear from Honorary Technical Advisor Keith S****.
** STOP PRESS **
mjsalisbury23 reckons 2nd Feb 1929, 1:33pm
Cumberland Comms Ltd have written to me with the most concise message yet received (that does not have swearing in it).
We put poles in the ground
There wasn't a full stop at the end either. So maybe they intended to tell me much more about themselves and were cut short. Perhaps by the telephone ringing with an order for a telegraph pole or maybe someone disturbed their train of thought with a mug of tea. Or could it be that they just don't see the point or significance of full-stops.
If the latter, then they need to consider the distress they put pedants like me through. For starters, I never paused for breath until I got to the end of their email, including all the footers and everything. And then I had to go on and on to my poor wife about the standards of punctuation and what do they teach them in schools these days.
Anyway, upon research, it transpires that Cumberland Comms Ltd do indeed put poles in the ground. And they'll do so for you too - at the right price of course - just like they have been doing since they started in 2001.
With the word "Cumberland" in their name though, I expect they prefer to erect them up there - in a county which hasn't existed as an administrative entity since 1974. Ooh, it's a complicated world!