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.
The week all started routinely enough. There I was busy appreciating the daily influx of photographs submitted by enthusiastic subscribers to these sagest of pages... including these finialed beauties. (Which have the look of South Shropshire about them) They came from an email address in hotmail which ought to have raised suspicions, if not hackles. No note was attached.
Things took a turn for the sinister when we received the following photograph a day later. From the same email address. And this time there was a note...
We were horror struck. Anybody who knows me would realise that if someone were to give me a penny, I still wouldn't have two pennies to rub together. So even if I did somehow know the whereabouts of an ageing water pump I could never put my hand on that kind of money. So we had to play the waiting game.
Then I saw that the evil fiend had carelessly signed his name at the bottom and so I started to put two and two together. My mate Pete Greenrod has a broken-down Vauxhall Cavalier in the scrap yard he calls his garden and he has manky, stinking trainers like those in the picture. But then it couldn't be him - I'm sure his is the 1984 model. And the ransom note specifically says that it's not him anyway, it's some other Pete. A red herring then.
This story didn't have a happy ending, and appreciators of fine telegraph poles should look away now. We received this photograph yesterday. An act of vile desperation, carried out without compunction by a soul-less Vauxhall (and Ryobi chainsaw) owner. Probably with a wood stove and who doesn't mind the stink of burning creosote.
Since the demise of his 1938 LPTB Trolley Bus poles*1, Nude bee-keeper Geoff Hood has switched his considerable affections to telegraph poles. He tells us that he found this 1950 GPO extra-high pole with two crossbars feeding into some houses in deepest London N3. "Just thought it worthy of appreciating" he says. I agree Geoff. And since these pictures arrived into the not-inconsiderable mail system here at TPAS towers, I have endeavoured to appreciate them at every opportunity. I managed an hour before the Archers came on the wireless this evening, then I did another 10 mins after my bath. And I'll try and get another few minutes appreciating in before I go to bed. I've asked my wife to have a go too when she gets a minute. But she said she's still busy appreciating one of them that John Brunsden sent in February. Blimey, it's all go here !
*1 See here.
I had just had a really bad day - First my pencil fell off my desk. Then my wife accidentally put sugar in my tea and then I went and fed the cat twice because she lied to me that she hadn't been fed. But then this photo came in by email and I found I was moved to tears at the joy it brought back to me following such a traumatic and difficult day.
This is from Chris Jacquier over there in the internet. He (could be she, apologies for the misplaced pronoun if this is the case) is clearly an inventive gardener with access to proper telegraph pole bits - as those look like real arms to me and proper insulator pins. Chris's introduction was rather enlightening...
Well, I suppose you chaps are harmless in your pursuit of telegraph poles but I do hope that the attached photograph of my back garden fruit patch does not completely unhinge any of you.
Whilst I could not persuade the Domestic Authorities to allow a couple of poles for transmitting power to our shed village at the far end of the Jacquier estate, she did capitulate and surrender to the suggestion of cut-down arms and pots for use as raspberry cane supports.
Victory, of a kind, but probably at the cost of starting an arms scandal.
Don't apologise Chris. But whilst I am completely, overwhelmingly, meithering-my-wife-to-death sort of inspired by this, Mrs TPAS has yet to be convinced of its efficacy around her broad beans. A project for the forthcoming growing season I think and a chance to get some of my not inconsiderable collection of insulators out into the elements once more. Watch this space.
Professor of Telegraphpoleology, Jake Rideout, has been out with his camera around his home town of Frome. As well as being one of the UK's foremost telegraph pole academics, he has an awe-inspiring collection of insulators and is every bit the ceramic addict. He tells us:
This pole is unusual in construction as it is a double pole and carries six 33,000v lines which split apart into two separate pole routes about a mile up the line. The first image shows the pole in all its glory, the second a close up of the top section. I am unsure what the mesh is for between the two poles.
As well as terminating six high voltage lines, the pole also contains a total of 48 insulators, including the common porcelain discs, lightning arrestors, strain insulators on the stays and lead-in insulators, in both polymeric rubber and brown porcelain.
It is also interesting to note that each of the three large brown lead-in insulators on the right hand side of the pole are all supported by four smaller insulators. I own one of these smaller insulators which was retrieved from a substation near Gloucester by another insulator-fanatic. I have shown this in the third image. It measures 3.5" tall and 5.25" wide and is quite heavy, probably because of the two metal caps cemented onto each end. It was made by the London based company Bullers Ltd some time in the '60s.
There are several poles similar to this one located in Frome, which all terminate at the substation near to this one. This one is located some distance from the same substation but I expect it is still linked to it somehow.
A wonderful pole Jake, excellent info and a worthy P.O.T.M. Though strictly speaking it's Pole of the Whenever we remember to do one. But that would be P.O.T.W.W.R.T.D.O.