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.
Coming across a sick, broken or otherwise ailing telegraph pole always brings out the Samaritan in me. This latest pole (see previous post) was no different. Into my workshop for a bit of TLC wherein the application of a modicum of sawing, wire-brushing, hammering and swearing noises means they're all better now.
I have to say though, I haven't got many of these brown ceramics and they're a bit of a bugger* to remove from their pegs. Despite my inventiveness with some sticky roofing felt which I used to supplement my grip together with a plumber's wrench tool. These had to be cleaned up in situ.
Anyway, when you can take your eyes off my amazing lawn in the bottom photograph (no chemicals added) you can see the finished arms wood replete with shiny telegraphic furniture. I have a cunning plan for making a desk ornament out of this one. Watch this space.
* for want of a better word
Place: The B5105, about 3 miles from Ruthin
Time: 09:47am, 19th May 2011
Just on our way back up from town after a shopping trip to stock up on Wham bars, Island Organic biscuits and Welsh tea when we came across these extemporaneous traffic lights.
(A bit) like someone out of an Andy McNab novel, I fair leapt out of our still moving car as the lights turned back to red. I knew what these guys were doing, and I knew what I had to do. They were about to take away the remains of the crashed pole I blogged about 4 posts ago. Time for a rescue mission...
Okay, Andy McNab might have had me machine-gunning Taliban henchmen as I abseiled out of a helicopter before making good an escape with my booty. My reality was almost the same except that I sauntered up and asked the workmen if I could have the bits that were lying splintered on the floor, and they said yes.
But I did have their incredulity to contend with. That someone would want to collect bits of knackered ancient telegraph pole and then go away and do something useful with it meant I must surely need certifying. That's correct gentlemen, totally barking. And they certainly didn't believe me when I said I was from The Telegraph Pole Appreciation Society. They do now.
Anyway, cheers Ged and co.
Here's a photo of what I recovered. And I've still got my eyes on the rest of those poles. More about this particular restoration shortly. Meanwhile, I have some Wham bars to wreck my filings on.
W e are only God's Poor Orphans
But we do our level best.
to keep you all connected and in touch.
In the winter wires are frozen
and we seldom get much rest,
But we don't complain; well, not very much.
We know we're in the service of our monarch
King or Queen.
It's an honour, not a job, so do you see.
That her majesty's the boss, the best boss ever been.
On that all God's Poor Orphans will agree.
We will keep the wires singing,
'Cos you know "It's good to talk"
Keep the tidings winging.
'Quicker to 'phone than to walk'
Greetings merry, news that's sad,
We'll convey them good or bad.
And know at last we did our job
We did it for honour not for a few bob.
We'll end our service with a contented sigh.
And depart for that great Telephone Exchange in the sky.
Poem by Society Honorary Technical Adviser, Keith S****
It would be nice if this were a website about railway architecture, but it isn't. If it was I could wax lyrical about the amazing railway viaduct on the "Heart of Wales" railway line near Cynghordy, Carmarthenshire. This truly is a masterpiece of Victorian railway engineering. Or I could prattle on about the fantastic line itself which meanders through some of Wales' finest scenery on it's four hour journey from Shrewsbury to Swansea. There's another on the line at Knucklas near Knighton.
I was actually there on a dual hill-walk/house hunting mission when I saw this unusual arms-wood-less telegraph pole which I thought I would share with you dear listener.
It's been a while since I updated the site and the postbox is full. I'll deal with the most recent first. Philip wrote from mwosb.co.uk with those questions we all want answers to :
1. Did anyone ever answer the question about the lifespan of a telegraph pole?
2. Is there a legal requirement to replace them after a certain number of years
3. Are they required to be inspected / tested annually (or at another period)?
4. Does anyone know the breakdown of the codes affixed to a pole?
We put these questions to our Honorary Technical Advisor Keith S**** at his secret lair somewhere in the UK. And as always, despite his being Britain's top telegraph pole spook, he went above and beyond the call of duty to answer a needy listener.
The life span of a properly creosoted pole is infinite, if it were kept in ideal conditions it would last forever, however, when 'planted' it is subject to the rigours of the environment. Rot (decay) is the only enemy of the pole apart from impact from heavy objects (like cars). Rot in timber requires three factors, oxygen, moisture and the spores of a fungus. These are, in poles, usually only found at the ground line and it is here a pole will decay.
There is not to my knowledge any statutory requirement to replace poles at a specified time. Poles are,or were in my time, tested on a regular basis by engineers dedicated to this task who would take a sample boring from the pole at a point remote from the ground line, (there was a scurrilous rumour at one time that they just whacked them with a heavy hammer) ie a pointless exercise. Occasionly one would come across a pole with decay at the tip caused by the pooling of water there.
As to the codes on poles, telephone poles that is, (not electricity poles ) typically there would be length in feet (early poles) or in metres after metrication and class of pole. eg:
30L (30ft light)
30M (30ft medium)
8L (8 metre light)
9M (9 metre medium)
Light and Medium (and stout of which there were very few) referred to the diameter of the pole. Heavier poles were needed to carry more wires. Also 'cut in' was the year of processing eg 79 would be 1979. Other marks (Cutting in) on the pole varied at different times.
Not for nothing is Keith our (H.T.A.) (T.P.A.S.)